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Kids and Fire Safety


Summer is coming – and that means tons of family fun as the kids are home from school.

Summer is a great time for vacations, family time, parties, cookouts, bonfires and more. But, with kids spending more time at home, fire safety is more important to consider than ever.

This summer, keep your kids safe and aware of fire hazards by following the tips below.

Indoor Fire Risks

Parents know that when you have young kids especially, child proofing is essential. You anchor furniture, put up baby gates, put outlet covers on all of your outlets and more to keep your children safe. It’s equally important to think about “child proofing” when it comes to items like matches or lighters.

Matches, lighters and other ignitable items should be kept far out of a child’s reach, ideally in high cabinets that can be locked. You can also purchase lighters with built in child-resistant features for added security.

Candles are another common fire risk – kids can burn themselves on the wax or flame, or even knock them over and start house fires. Consider using flameless candles instead to avoid these risks.

One of the biggest fire safety threats, however, is cooking. Make sure you keep all children – and pets! – at least three feet away when working with the oven and stove. Kids should also be kept at least three feet away from any other heat sources, such as a fireplace or furnace. Use child gates if necessary to keep kids safe and out of the kitchen when you’re cooking.

Outdoor Fire Risks

Summertime is the season for outdoor hangouts, often with cook outs or bonfires. Both can be fun – but it’s important to keep fire safety top of mind.

When grilling, you need to keep kids at least three feet away from the grill, just like you do inside when cooking on the stove. The same goes for bonfires – children need to be at least three feet away from the fire at all times. Additionally, never leave children unattended around a grill or bonfire, as temptation to get closer could prove too great.

Before a bonfire, dress your kids in clothes that are tight to their bodies as well, so that they’re less likely to catch fire. Make sure children know stop, drop and roll, and also when to use it.

Have a Plan - and Practice

One of the best things you can do to keep your kids safe? Have a family fire safety plan and practice it at least twice a year.

Smoke detectors need to be installed in every level of your home and inside every bedroom. Make sure every member of the family knows what a smoke detector sounds like – and what to do if they go off. Emphasize to your children that if the smoke detectors go off, the goal is to get out of the house; they should not stop to search for pets or prized possessions. Practice “waking up” to the alarms going off, staying low to the ground and getting out of the house. Make sure everyone knows where to meet up as well, such as on a neighbor’s porch or a nearby tree or other landmark outside.

And don’t forget: Batteries in smoke detectors need to be replaced at least once a year and tested at least once a month to make sure that they work.

This summer, make fire safety a part of your family’s plans as you prepare to have the kids home from school. If you want even more fire safety tips, check out our other blog posts to learn about smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, creating a fire escape plan and more.

Tags: preferred protection, fire safety, education