Protecting Young Children from Fire Hazards at Home
According to the National Fire Protection Association, up to 7 people die because of home fires every day – and kids under the age of 5 face a much higher risk of death and burn injury than individuals in other age groups. This is because young children don’t understand the true dangers a fire can pose, and their natural curiosity can cause them to take unnecessary risks.
At Martin Jean & Jackson, we can help you hold the right party accountable if your home fire was caused by another party’s negligence and carelessness. In the meantime, however, we hope that you and your family can stay safe from serious burn injuries and other home fire hazards, especially during the winter when temperatures drop.
In this blog post, we’ll touch on basic fire safety precautions you can discuss with young children.
Teaching Young Children About Fire Safety
In 2013, more than 125,000 children under the ages of 19 were admitted to an emergency room for burn injuries, and that number has stayed relatively constant over the years. In spite of this danger, nearly three-quarters of American families don’t have any fire escape plan in place, nor do they practice their plan regularly. For these reasons, it’s important to start discussing fire safety with your kids when they’re young, and creating a comprehensive escape procedure that takes your children’s current ages into account.
When building your fire escape plan, you should consider how many outside exits exist throughout your house, and give each family member a clear course of action in the event of a home fire. Make sure to review the full plan at least once a year and perform fire drills every few months, preferably in the dark to simulate nighttime conditions.
Here are a few other safety tips you may want to consider discussing with your young children:
- The “Stop, Drop, and Roll” technique. This technique reduces the risk of burn injury, by teaching children to stay calm and act fast when their clothes catch on fire. It’s often taught in elementary schools, but reviewing it at home will underscore the lesson.
- Fire is not a toy: It’s a tool. Frequently repeating that fire is only a tool can help children understand that it’s not a toy, nor something they can use once you leave the room. It will also help to reduce the mystery around fires.
- When you see smoke, crawl. One of the biggest hazards during a home fire is smoke inhalation. Teaching children to crawl at the first signs of smoke will keep them alert during a home fire, and increase the chances that you’ll reach them in time.
- Tell an adult when you find matches or lighters. Instituting a strict policy for reporting loose matches or lighters could save your kids from burn injuries later on. Matches and lighters are easy to ignite, and they cause thousands of home fires each year.
- Make your cooking area a “no kids zone.” It’s a well-documented fact that most home fires start in the kitchen, primarily because of cooking accidents. When your children are still young, institute a “no kids zone” policy for any space within 3 feet of your stove, oven, or gas burners.
By observing even a few of these safety tips, it’s our hope that you and your family will stay safe in the event of a major home fire. If you do ever need the services of a skilled Oklahoma burn injury attorney, our team at Martin Jean & Jackson will help you seek the compensation you need to recover from painful burns. With more than 100 years of experience, we have a strong track record of success and can offer the compassionate counsel you need.
Call Martin Jean & Jackson at (580) 290-1006 for a consultation!