Top 9 Fire Safety Tips For Kids by Dr Chetan Ginigeri

10 min read

By Dr. Chetan Ginigeri,MBBS(JIPMER), MD (PGIMER), Fellowship PICU (Kings College London)
Head of Dept – Paediatric & Neonatal services, Aster CMI Hospital
17 years of experience

Fire Safety Tips For Kids

Fire is the most useful thing in our lives if used properly. A single blunder can make it become the most dangerous thing that can claim lives. It is important to be very careful while dealing with any kind of fire.

Our senses do not work if we see any fire breakout near us. It will be very difficult for kids to think and act accordingly. As a parent, it becomes vital to take the necessary care. With all the precautions and tips that we are going to discuss here, you will successfully be able to help pull your kid out of danger even in your absence.

In This Article

List of Top 9 Fire Safety Tips For Kids Safety

The process of quick oxidation of any object leads to fire. It is not just the kitchen that can be a danger. Any electrical appliance can cause fire accidents. Immature and improper handling of electrical appliances like microwave ovens, refrigerators, television, air conditioner, air cooler, and other useful products that run on electricity can be the cause of danger. Educating your kids about the usage and misuse of these products can help them understand and act accordingly. They can teach or tell their friends that these are not the objects to play with.

Here are the top 9 fire safety tips for kids. Inculcating and teaching them these can help them avoid danger. This can also help them to act wisely during any such accidents they witness or undergo.

1. Discuss Fire Safety Talks With Your Kids

Fire Safety Talks With Your Kids

Kids are innocent and they play with any object that attracts them. In these days of the pandemic, the home has become the epicentre for kids. They play inside the house by making the available objects their friends. This can sometimes be hazardous. Having a good and healthy talk with your child during your free time can help them stay alert during any emergency. This will also help them understand about the appliances at home that are not safe to play with.

  • Explain to your child about the everyday electrical appliances you use at home.
  • Teach them that plugging in too many devices can cause short circuits.
  • Help them understand the dangers involved in playing with electric wires.
  • Let them know that they should turn the switch off before unplugging any electronic device.
  • Teach them that they should not touch any electronic devices with their hands wet and dirty.
  • Train them on how to act during any fire emergency.
  • Tell your child not to close the door and hide inside, in case of any fire accident at home. Hiding will not help at any cost.
  • Show them the nearest exit, and that they should directly go out in case of an unmanageable fire breakout at home.
  • Teach them about using fire extinguishers. They should also learn that clinging onto those extinguishers is not the right idea if they are in extreme danger.
  • Make them understand that running around can spread the fire. Tell them to lie down and roll if their clothing catches fire. Rolling can extinguish the fire to a large extent.

[Read : Say No to Shocks: Electricity Safety for Kids]

2. Teach Them Safety While Bursting Crackers

Safety While Bursting Crackers

  • A child must always be under adult supervision while lighting firecrackers.
  • Give them a long stick to light a cracker.
  • Make sure that there is enough distance between them and the firecracker.
  • Ask them to come back immediately, or pull them behind holding their hand.
  • Do not let them light any crackers by holding them with naked hands.
  • Stand away from trees and bushes while bursting crackers.
  • Do not let them go and relight the cracker.

3. Explain the Importance of  Avoiding Playing With Lighters and Matches

Avoiding Playing With Lighters and Matches
Fire is extremely unforgiving. Children may not know that and they continue playing with whatever object they find interesting. Playing with lighters and matches can be very dangerous. Lighters contain flammable fluids. The auto-ignition of a lighter can prove to be very dangerous if it is carried in their pockets or bags for playing. Playing with matches again should be a strict no for the children. As they do not know how to handle a burning match stick, panic can make them throw that away thus leading to hazards. Keep matches and lighters out of reach. If there is an older kid at home, ask them to keep an eye on the younger ones. Never, even by mistake, leave them alone unattended for a long time.

4. Always Double-Check Matches That You Put Out

Matches are not extinguished until the whole wood is burned. Small sparks of fire remain and it will take some time for it to extinguish completely. These small sparks are extremely light, even a gentle breeze can take them off the place. These can be dangerous if they catch a cloth or any flammable object. Always double-check after you extinguish a match stick and wait there until there is no danger. After lighting a lamp or a candle at home, make sure you throw off the burnt match stick in a safe place. There is a risk that children can step on that, this can cause burns to their soles.

5. Keep Your Kids Away From Fireplaces and Stoves

Kids Away From Stoves

Fireplaces are the source of heat during winter. They are designed in such a way that the fire and smoke escape out through a chimney above.

  • Do not let your child go near a fireplace.
  • Stay there and teach them how to stay near any fire with utmost care.
  • Do not kindle a fireplace and leave your child alone.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy in case of any danger.
  • Make sure the fireplace in your home is far enough from the furniture, chairs, curtains, and other objects that can catch fire easily.
  • Do not put any bulky clothes or carpets near the fireplace.

Stoves are another very useful source of cooking in every house, be it an electric stove or a gas stove. Since most Indian kitchens possess gas stoves as the source of cooking, there are three possible dangers. A gas pipe, an LPG cylinder, and the stovetop.

  • Arrange your gas pipe in such a way that your child does not have any access to it.
  • Safeguard the place where you keep the LPG cylinder in your house with a lock. Your child should not have access to open it.
  • Do not let your child climb the kitchen counter, never in your absence.
  • Instruct them how to switch off the burning gas and warn the dangers of playing with it.
  • Keep the kitchen towels and other flammable objects away from their reach and away from the stove.
  • Do not ask them to bring anything from the kitchen. Especially when there is an ongoing cooking process.
  • They are enthusiastic and tend to do anything you tell them, which can cause unexpected falls and other hazards.
  • Always keep the kitchen windows open.
  • Opening windows can also help the gas escape and thus reduce the risk of catching fire in case of any gas leakage.
  • Help your children understand the importance of good ventilation near the fire.

[Read : Kitchen Safety Basics For Kids]

6. Teach Them Being Caution Around Flammable Objects

Caution Around Flammable Objects

Many household items can be flammable. Be very cautious while using them. Do not let your child use them when you are not around.

  • Do not keep any flammable objects like stove cloths, silicon holders, and wooden spoons near the fireplace, or gas stove, or any candles.
  • Flammable objects that are often used in every home like hand sanitizers, aerosol cans, nail polish removers, perfumes, deodorants, room fresheners, and cleaning liquids should be kept completely away from the reach of children.
  • Instruct your children to avoid touching them without your permission.
  • Be cautious while using them in front of your kids.
  • Make sure there is no fire around while spraying or using any of these.
  • If you want your children to handle them in your absence or in any case of emergency, teach them the cautions and the dangers involved.

Children observe a lot and learn, so be cautious about what you do while they are watching.

7. Take Steps to Fireproof Your House

Fireproof Your House

Fireproofing the house is as important as taking life insurance. This can assure safety for you and your children. Since the home is a place where they feel safe and secure while they play and run, fireproofing the house can make it safer.

  • Get a good fire extinguisher.
  • Install a fire-resistant door. When there is a fire, children should be aware of closing the door that is fire resistant. A fire-resistant door can hold the fire for some time, helping children to get some time in escaping.
  • Use fire-retardant chemicals on the walls that are vulnerable to heat and fire.
  • Brick-built houses are more resistant to fire than wood.
  • Tiles catch less fire than wood.
  • Get good fireproof windows designed for your house, if your house is at the risk of facing a wildfire. Windows are the first to take the heat. If they are not good enough, they may break immediately and not give you enough time to escape.
  • Maintain the lawn and make sure it stays green, as hay (dried grass) can catch and spread fire rapidly.
  • Install smoke alarms. Smoke alarms avoid many fire accidents and injuries. Install them in every room if possible.
  • Keep checking on them frequently. Make sure they are in working condition. Do not forget to replace the batteries.
  • Children must know how to react to a smoke alarm and when to inform you or the fire station about the danger.
  • Make sure to cover all the wires inside the wall.
  • The right and an electrician supervised earthing can help avoid short circuits.

8. Teach Kids the ‘Get Low and Exit’ Escape Plan

'Get Low and Exit' Escape Plan

Teach your children to crawl and get to the exit. Once a house catches fire, the thick and dark smoke can block everything and make the way unclear. Children must know that it is the floor that gets air and remains clean. Crawling can help children breathe and escape the fire. Help them practice this while you are at home. Children should know to act quickly and sensibly in case of a fire.

9. Execute and Practice a Fire Drill Plan

Practice A Fire Drill Plan

A fire drill plan can help children act faster in an emergency fire situation.

  • Sit and discuss a feasible fire exit plan with your family. Make sure to involve your children.
  • Take a piece of paper and draw a map of your home.
  • Help your child identify the closest exit from every room.
  • Make sure they are listening, or else repeat the whole plan till they get used to it.
  • Teach them to stay calm and not to run around the house in case of a fire. Panicking creates more fear even in manageable situations.
  • Plan to meet at the same place after you exit.
  • Do not reenter a burning house.
  • Do not stay inside to collect things. Teach your child to leave everything and run out of the house.
  • Help them feel the doorknobs and make them understand how to open them quickly in case of an emergency.
  • Call the fire station as early as possible.

10. Teach Kids to Avoid Using Elevators During Fire

Avoid Using Elevators During Fire

Apartment fires and the cautions that are involved in them can be a bit different.

  • If you stay in an apartment and you do not have any other exit, the elevator does not work while the apartment is on fire. Teach your children to take steps in case of any fire emergency.
  • Getting low and going is a must-tip that should be followed as the apartments may not have different exit points.
  • Teach them to show a danger signal from the window by flashing a light or a cloth. This may help people outside know that there is some danger.

Additional Fire Safety Tips For Kids

  • Do not leave a burning candle or an oil lamp unattended.
  • Make sure to switch off all the lamps and lights before you go to sleep.
  • Double-check if you have switched off the stove before leaving the house.
  • Make it a habit to disconnect the gas cylinder every night.
  • Open the windows and maintain good ventilation.
  • A well-ventilated house stays away from most fire hazards.
  • Do not leave any electronic device charging for a very long time.
  • Do not leave your child alone to play with firecrackers.
  • Instead of panicking and running around, take your child to the hospital immediately in case of any burn.

Fire can be extremely dangerous and harsh. Staying cautious and teaching your child to be cautious can help you avoid situations that can be fatal. A small mistake of leaving your little one unattended near a hot gas top or an oven that is not switched off can lead to the most uninvited situations. Children feel safe at home. It is our responsibility to make the home safe for them to run around and play. Teaching and helping them understand how to be safe can avoid many dangers. Your instructions can help them stay cautious and alert even if they are in a different place. They will be able to get themselves and the people around them out of such situations. A child can grasp anything you tell them very quickly. They will understand and follow every step you instructed them in case of any danger.

FAQ’s

1. What to do if a Burn Happens?

In case of any burn, treat that burnt part with cold running water. The water should not be too cold. Apply an ointment. Talk to your doctor about the intensity of the burn. Make sure to get an appointment after the first aid at home. Burns open the skin and tend to invite a lot of infections.

2. When to Reach Out to the Doctor?

Any small burn can heal on its own after proper first aid and care. If you feel that it is turning into a blister and if you feel pain, call your doctor and make an appointment. Blisters can burst open and may need proper dressing under medical supervision.

3. What to do if I Hear a Smoke Alarm Without Any Fire?

Some smoke alarms are sensitive and can respond even to a small amount of smoke. Make sure your house has good ventilation. Open all the windows and let the smoke go out. Once the alarm turns off, check all the electrical appliances and gas stoves to make sure that they are in proper working condition.

4. What are the Five Basic Fire Safety Tips For Kids?

  • Practice a fire exit plan often by involving your kids.
  • Install smoke alarms in almost every room.
  • Do not leave any fire-inducing objects unattended for a long time.
  • Fireproof the house.
  • Check and replace the alarms promptly.

Read Also: Burns in Babies: Treatment & Home Remedies

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Dr. Chetan Ginigeri,MBBS(JIPMER), MD (PGIMER), Fellowship PICU (Kings College London)
Head of Dept – Paediatric & Neonatal services, Aster CMI Hospital
17 years of experience

Dr Chetan Ginigeri is an experienced Pediatric Intensivist with national and international training. With 15 years of experience, he is one among very few Intensivists in India trained to take care of children who need/had organ transplants. He has been responsible for coordinating the Pediatric Organ Transplant program.Read more.

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