Between the fireplace and the flickering lights, your house is full of fire hazards during the holiday season. You may think your children are too young to teach them about fire safety, but they’re not! Children as young as two can strike matches, and sadly, 52 percent of all children that die in fires are those four and under. So start today, and teach your children how to be safe with fire, and what to do in case a fire does happen in your home.
First, teach by example, and create opportunities for learning about fire safety at home. Next time you change or test the batteries in your smoke alarms, ask your child to help you, and talk to them about the importance of smoke alarms. Remember, 2/3 of all fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarm.
Make stop, drop and roll a game! Teach your child how to stop, drop and roll without help. Then, every once in a while, call out “Stop, drop and roll!” Everyone in the house should participate. Try to play this game from time to time. It's more likely your child will be able to stop, drop and roll should they need to if it becomes familiar and comfortable.
Plan and practice two escape routes from each room of your house with your family. Make a game of it, but be sure the kids understand how serious fire can be. Select a meeting place outside of the house where you can reconnect in case of a fire.
Many fire stations have tours and classes for children, especially children who are interested in fire. Take your child by and introduce them to the fire fighters. For more lesson plans and graphics for your kids, including a printable Jr. Fire Marshal Certificate and coloring book, visit the U.S. Fire Administration.