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5 Ways to Practice Fire Safety With Your Child

October is Fire Prevention Month and all month long our Friends have been busy learning about fire safety in fun and unique ways. To reinforce and complement what your child is learning at school, try practicing fire safety at home with these five tried-and-true tips.

Fire Safety For Kids1. Customize your approach for your child.
The best way to get started teaching fire safety is to gauge your child’s knowledge on the topic. Sit down with older children in a relaxed setting and talk together about fire, why it is dangerous and what to do in case of emergency. For younger children, try playing simple games like “Hot or Not” where everyday items are sorted into “hot” or “not hot” categories. These types of activities will help you hone in on their level of understanding and also reveal areas where they need reinforcement.

2. Be inclusive in creating a fire plan for your family.
We all know creating a fire safety plan for your household is a good idea. While the adults in the family should make the ultimate decisions on what protocol is best, this is a great exercise for children to participate in so they feel more involved and interested in this important game plan. Walk through your home and have all family members explore the best options for exiting the house and safe meeting spots — then land on your plan, together.

3. Go through the motions.
It’s one thing to talk about fire safety measures, but it’s another to actually go through the motions. Just like we do at school, practice fire drills in your own home, run through your communications and escape routes step by step, and physically practice “stop, drop and roll.” This makes the scenarios more real for children and helps them to be more comfortable following plans if and when an emergency arises.

4. Incorporate dramatic play.
Dramatic play, in other words, pretending to be fire fighters or playing fire station, is another good way for children to practice fire safety. Allow your child time to play freely with others using puppets or props. You can also get involved by creating scenarios for kids to play out and gently guide them to encourage safe behavior in emergency situations.

5. Get up close and personal.
While many children are fascinated with firefighters in storybooks, on TV or in parades, firefighters and fire trucks up close can be intimidating at first because of their heavy gear and equipment. Take advantage of school events, fall festivals and other community gatherings throughout the year to allow your child to talk to firefighters and explore firefighting tools in an educational setting to minimize any apprehension. Many fire stations also offer private tours if you contact them directly.

Don’t lose sight of fire safety after the month ends. Make it a point to practice and play periodically to ensure your little one is age-appropriately prepared.

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