Make Your Kids Fire Smart
As every parent and education worker knows children’s curiosity can lead them to some troubling situations.
Statistical information gathered from the Parliamentary legal and Constitutional Affairs Fire Safety report advises that “it is difficult to locate information about fire related incidents in Australian States and territories, and even more challenging to find statistics that can be compared in a meaningful way.” [i]
The report also provides a limited overview of fire-related incidents as follows:
- In New South Wales (NSW) from 2010 to 2015 there were 23,766 accidental fires. Between 2009-10 and 2013-14 the number of structure fires attended by Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) dropped from 7495 to 6209
- Between 2002-03 and 2006-07, Queensland Fire and Rescue (QFR) attended more than 2400 structural fire incidents each year, with those incidents increasing by 9.7 per cent during that period.
- In South Australia, between the 2007-2008 and 2013-2014 financial years, there was an average of 1175.6 structure fires per year.
- The Tasmanian Fire Service (TFS) attended 631 structural fires in 2013-14.
- During 2014 there were 3000 house fires recorded in Victoria.
- From 2014-15 the Western Australia Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) attended 60.27 accidental residential fires per 100,000 households.
In the United States, "between the years 2005 to 2009, children playing with fire started an estimated 56,300 fires" [ii], from ignition such as candles, lighters and matches. Almost half of those fires were caused by children taking place in bedrooms after playing with those items. These statistics can be prevented with something as simple as teaching your kids fire safety and the dangers of hazardous items.
"Before kids are even born, they start to acknowledge voices and begin to gain an understanding, by 18 months children should e able to form their own sentences"[iii] which means they have the capability to know right from wrong, especially when it comes to hot and dangerous items.
To benefit yourself and your child in an emergency, it is recommended to ensure that you are teaching your child their name and where they live so when they reach 3 or 4 years old they can tell an appropriate person or emergency services.
Fire safety can be implemented when teaching your kids basic knowledge such as shapes, colours, words, noises etc. ensuring your child knows what a fire alarm is and the sound it makes is a great first step when teaching fire safety.
Explaining the dangers of fire and what it has the potential to do to themselves, others and their surroundings while scary for some can save their lives along with their peers as well. Teaching one child fire safety can start a chain reaction of preventing other children to play with hazardous items that can lead to a fire.
While teaching children the dangers of fire safety has loads of benefits, they are still children and don’t have the comprehension skills like adults do. There are lots of different activities available to help educate your little ones on the web and you can find some on our website as well under resources.
To prevent fires from happening or starting never leave things such as candles, food cooking or children with these items unattended even for a short period of time. Childproofing ignition such as matches or lighters can help prevent fires from happening but the education of Fire safety for children is still the most beneficial.
Have lots of fun with activities and teach your children fire safety tips through learning.
Teaching your child, the dangers of fires and what to do in a fire is the best way to keep you and your family safe, also ensure that you have your own escape plan for your family to follow in case of emergency.
Related post: Planning for escape from the family house.