Posts Tagged ‘ fire safety ’

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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Important Safety Lessons From “Safe Kids Day”

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Dana Points

This post is written by Dana Points, editor in chief of Parents

Q: Who is responsible for our kids’ safety?
A: We all are!

A recent trip to “Safe Kids Day” in Washington, D.C., opened my eyes to how persistent some children’s safety problems are. As the editor in chief of Parents and a board member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit devoted to preventing unintentional injury, I thought I knew a thing or three about children’s safety, but I learned a few new things visiting the exhibits and talking to the educators at this Capitol-Hill event designed to raise awareness among members of Congress and their staff:

1. More child pedestrians are injured in September than in any other month–and injuries to older kids are on the rise, probably because they are distracted by their mobile devices.

2. If your smoke alarm is wired into your electrical system or home alarm system, you may not be fretting about changing the batteries, but you should replace the device every 10 years (which means our family is overdue!)

3. Despite warnings to parents, kids continue to swallow button batteries, which can cause devastating internal injury. A bill introduced earlier this summer would call on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make battery compartments more child-resistant, among other things.

Fortunately, we have some friends watching out for us in D.C.–but they can’t work magic overnight. Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky stopped by Safe Kids Day to check out the safe sleep display. An infant and toddler safety act she introduced back in 2001 (!) was part of an effort that resulted in the ban on drop-side cribs that took effect last year. And Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a mother of two young boys, has her own initiatives under way, with a focus on safe food, safe water, and safe toys. “I look at issues in a children-first way,” she says. But she can’t be the only one and that’s where we come in. “Women need to get off the sidelines and understand their voice needs to be heard,” Gillibrand told me. After a half-hour of wide-ranging discussion of children’s safety with Safe Kids President and CEO Kate Carr and me, her parting words were a warning: “If most women realized their legislators could care less about the issues we have discussed today they’d be amazed.” That’s why it’s up to all of us to take action on a personal level.

For more on what you can do at home and in your community to ensure a safer world for our kids, visit Safe Kids Worldwide.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Nurse Accused in Baby Abduction, Mom Death Due in Court
A nurse who had suffered a miscarriage was desperate to find a child, so she went exactly where she knew she could find one: the suburban Houston clinic where she had taken her three children for checkups, authorities say.

Report Estimates 8 Million Children Hurt by Foreclosures
Five years into the foreclosure crisis, an estimated 2.3 million children have lived in homes lost to foreclosure, according to a report from First Focus, a Washington, D.C-based bipartisan advocacy group focused on families.

Think Carrots, Not Candy as School Snack, Group Suggests
Junk food may soon be hard to buy at American public schools as the U.S. government readies new rules requiring healthier foods to be sold beyond the cafeteria – a move most parents support, according to a poll released on Thursday.

Kindergartner Handcuffed, Taken to Police Station After Allegedly Throwing Tantrum — and Furniture
The family of a 6-year-old Georgia girl is upset at police and school officials after the girl was handcuffed and taken to a police station for allegedly throwing furniture, tearing items off the walls and knocking over a shelf, which injured the principal.

New York Girl, 7, Credited With Alerting Parents to House Fire
A 7-year-old New York girl is being hailed as a hero for saving her family by alerting them to a fire that destroyed their home.

Baby Bonus: Aussie Company Doubles New Moms’ Salaries
One of Australia’s biggest companies, Insurance Australia Group, is instituting a new, super-generous maternity policy.

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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.

More About Fire Safety on

The photo above is from Wikimedia Commons.

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Fire Safety Lessons, Learned

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Following a nursery school trip to the local firehouse recently (pictured at right), my 4-year-old asked a lot of questions about what happens if there is a fire in our home. A lot of questions. Over and over again. We answered patiently and repetitively, giving her the facts and reassuring her that it is an unlikely situation and, with the knowledge we’re sharing, one we will know how to deal with should the time ever come.

Then the smoke alarm went off in our house.

It was yesterday morning, and Adira and I were doing what we do on most Sunday mornings, making pancakes. Only this Sunday, determined to finally make a whole batch without any burned ones, I greased the pan obsessively. And there they were, golden, the nearest-to-perfect pancakes my humble hands have ever produced (with an assist, of course, from the 4-year-old).

But before we had a chance to admire our creations, let alone taste them, a shrill noise sounded. It took me a moment to understand what was going on, but then I realized the smoke alarm was sounding, which had never happened before in the year-and-a-half we’ve been in our house.  Though the house didn’t look, smell, or feel particularly smoky, my determined greasing must have set it off. And while I tried to quickly figure out what to do–how do I shut the thing off? Should I check the basement, just in case there was a real fire? What to do about the baby and wife still sleeping upstairs–Adira knew. She was ready to go outside, as discussed over and over following her firehouse trip. (more…)

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