Children can become worried and concerned about the fire safety of their homes, any reference to fires (from the news, a TV programme, a story, knowing someone who has had a fire) could start them worrying about fire safety.
Use the following advice to discuss the fire safety of your home with your child.
Do not dismiss their very real fears but take them around your home and let them help you check the home is as fire safe as possible. Give children under five clear instructions of what they should and shouldn’t do. With older children, it’s better to also explain why.
You will probably need to talk about fire safety more than once, to make sure they have remembered and understood what you have taught them and to reassure them that you are all working together to make their home as safe as possible.
The most important item you can have in your home is a working smoke alarm.
Have you got working smoke alarms on each floor of the home. Why not let your child help you test them once a week?
If your child does see smoke or flames or the smoke alarm sounds, they need to know what to do:
- tell someone straight away – a grown-up if possible
- get out of the building as soon as possible
- never go back into the building for anything
- never hide in a cupboard or under a bed – get out of the home and
- call for help straight away find a phone and call 999, and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service – give the address of the fire slowly and calmly (they may need to go to the neighbours to find a phone)
- make sure that children know their address so they can raise the alarm
- You need an escape plan, which everyone knows. Help your child to draw their escape route and encourage them to keep it clear of trip hazards. Make sure you all know where the door and window keys are. Practice your escape plan.
- teach your child “Get out, Stay out and Call 999”.
Allowing your child to have a bedtime routine may help reassure them during the night. Discuss a bedtime routine and let your child do this each bedtime:
- shut all internal doors where possible, especially from the kitchen or living room
- turn off electrical items not in use
- make sure the cooker is turned off
- tidy up and keep the escape routes clear
- check all candles are unlit.
Using the SAFE-D Detective Sheet and the advice on the website, help your child look around their home and check it is fire safe.
If your child is still worried and concerned about fire, please contact Dorset Fire and Rescue Service for further help on 01305 252655.