As frightening as a house fire is for a child, it doesn’t have to end in tragedy. Equip your home with up-to-date safety devices and make fire preparedness part of your at home security measures, and your child can come through a fire safe and sound. Arm Your Kids with Life-Saving Skills Teach your child exactly what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. Create at least two escape routes and help your child practice them as part of a home fire drill twice a year or more. Make sure they understand fire safety concepts such as feeling the door for heat before leaving the room, low crawling to avoid smoke, “stop, drop, and roll” to put out clothing on fire, and “get out, stay out.” Show your child how to keep smoke out of the room and signal for help if for some reason they’re not able to escape. Get little ones familiar with what a firefighter in protective equipment looks and sounds like. The bulky gear and “Darth Vader voice” can be scary for young kids and there’s a risk they’ll try to hide. However, most local fire departments are willing to educate your child, with some advance notice. If you have a child younger than five, designate one person to get them out and another to take over if the designated person is away or unable to help. Make Your Home a Safer Place Old-school smoke detectors help, but today’s technology lets you do a lot more for your at home security. Consider upgrading to a smart smoke alarm system that can message your smartphone if it senses smoke and even tells you where the fire is. If you get an alert while you’re across town and your kids are home with the babysitter, you can call someone nearby to go help. Kids younger than 15 are at a higher risk of sleeping through a smoke alarm, so install an extra alarm inside your child’s bedroom. If you have a sleeping area on an upper floor, install escape ladders and have your kid try them out. Locks on escape windows should have a quick release function your child knows how to use. By beefing up your at-home security measures with a modern smoke alarm system and teaching your child how to react if a fire breaks out, you’ll sleep easier at night and you might just save your child’s life.
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