Start protecting your family by installing smoke alarms in key locations on every floor of the house, including common hallways and each bedroom. Test the smoke alarms monthly, and replace the batteries every six months. Teach your children never to play with matches or lighters, and never to light candles in the house, especially in bedrooms and bathrooms. Child safety advocate, Michael Pouls, adds that all parents should teach their children “never to place anything over a lamp, such as clothing or a decorative cloth.”
The majority of all house fires start in the kitchen, so make sure the oven, stove, and even the clothes dryer are never in use while unattended. Michael Pouls advises, “Never leave your home with the clothes dryer running. Lint that builds up in the dyer is extremely flammable.”
Teach your children how to respond should a fire break out in your home. They should know to stay low to the ground, and to touch all doorknobs and doors before trying to open them. If they feel warm or hot to the touch, an alternate escape route should be used, such as a window. There should be two means of escape from every room in the house. If an article of clothing should catch on fire, make sure your children know to stop, drop, and roll.
Have monthly fire drills, practicing each approved escape route. Make sure your children know the nearby location you have designated as the family meeting spot outside of the home, such as a curb side mailbox. Finally, make sure your children know that they must never go back into their home if it is on fire to retrieve family pets or belongings.