Posts Tagged ‘ fire prevention ’

6 Tips for Fire Safety

Monday, October 7th, 2013

This week (October 6 through 12) is National Fire Prevention Week, an imperative time to talk about and practice safety measures with your kids. Keep both your home and family safe: use these tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and LEGO City to start a conversation with your child about emergencies.


1. Be Prepared with Necessary Tools

It is critical to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every month. According to Joe Molis, a member of NFPA’s Fire Analysis Research Division, two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes with non-working or no smoke detectors. He recommends replacing batteries twice each year: at the start and end of daylight savings time, which that act as helpful reminders for this essential task.






2. Make An Evacuation Plan

Talk to your child about exit points in every room, asking her to identify doors, windows, and clear paths to safety. A toy like a dollhouse or a structure built from LEGOs can be useful tools, suggests Molis, a father of three and active lieutenant of the Providence Fire Department in Rhode Island. “This way, children are engaged while their parents direct the discussion,” he says.







3. Mark a Meeting Point

Every evacuation procedure should include a safe spot to gather (a neighbor’s porch, a lamppost or tree across the street), so that your family can respond quickly to an emergency and stay all together.






4. Run the Drill

Be sure to act out emergency escape plans at home two times every year. “It’s one thing to talk about evacuation, but it’s another when you role-play and practice,” Molis says. This helps remind children of their family’s specific plan, and builds their confidence to respond to emergency situations. It also instills the importance of keeping exits clear of obstacles. Running the drill is vital, but if you are ever faced with a house fire, Molis stresses: “The most important thing is to get out and stay out. Make sure everyone is accounted for, and then call 911.”





5. Lead the Way

Practice daily safety measures in front of your children: never leave pans cooking on the stove unattended, store matches and lighters out of litte ones’ reach, and ensure that appliances are clean and functioning properly.





6. Check It Out

Download a fire safety checklist at and use it to inspect your home as a family. Walk through each room and check off the safety measures you are following. If something is potentially dangerous, remedy the problem. “The checklist is incredibly important,” Molis says. “It helps make sure your dryer vents are clean, electrical cords aren’t damanges, escape routes are clear, and heat sources are away from flammable items.”



To learn more about National Fire Prevention Week, visit

For more tips on teaching and practicing fire safety, visit the following resources:

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Fire Prevention Week (October 7-13)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Sparky the Fire DogFire Prevention Week was established in 1922 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), it’s an annual observance that begins “on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls.”

Teach your kids about the importance of fire safety by referring to Sparky the Fire Dog’s safety checklist. This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is “Have 2 Ways Out!”, so make sure to put together a family escape plan. You can download a free escape planning sheet from or let Sparky the Fire Dog teach you how to put together a home fire escape plan.  Parents can also take the Fire Prevention Week quiz with their kids and visit for games, activities, animated shorts, and more.

Plus, in case you missed it, “A Smart Fire Safety Plan” was featured in the October issue of Parents magazine.  The article highlights the fire hazards in different areas of your home (kitchen, living room, basement) and gives information on how to plan fire drills and where to install fire and carbon monoxide alarms. You can also check out more fire safety tips from

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National Fire Prevention Week (October 9-15)

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

In addition to making sure there are always fresh batteries in your home’s smoke detector, staying calm, being prepared, and knowing what to do during a fire emergency are the first steps to staying out of danger.

This week, as focus is on fire safety and fire prevention, think about introducing everyone to life-saving methods.  First, have an open conversation about fire dangers with your kids.  Then, keep kids and objects that can easily catch fire  at least three feet away from the hottest parts of your house, such as the stove, the fireplace, any candles, etc.  Also, make sure there are working smoke detectors on every floor of your house and that you test them at least once a month.  (According to the CDC, an average of 4 out of 10 fire deaths happen in homes without working smoke alarms.)  Finally, organize an escape plan and practice it several times.  (Read more about protecting your family from fires.)

You can also suggest that your child’s class take a field trip to the local fire department to learn safety tips first hand – that will come in handy if you ever face an unexpected emergency at home.  (Read our Executive Editor’s pancake breakfast/fire alarm experience.)

Visit the U.S. Fire Administration website for additional fire safety guidelines.

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The photo above is from Wikimedia Commons.

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