What’s every parent’s worst nightmare – among all the others? Worrying about their child being caught in a home fire.
It’s estimated that up to seven people die every single day as a result of a fire in the home, and children who are under the age of five years are more at risk than most other age groups, according to stats.
What can parents do to make sure their homes don’t pose a fire risk?
Besides making sure electrical points in the home are not overloaded and not using lots of extension cords to plug electrical items in, the following tips will ensure that your home isn’t a fire risk.
Firstly, you need to make sure there are smoke alarms installed at certain points throughout the house. Often fire departments will offer these for free or at a reduced cost. These days, wireless alarm systems are available which will sound every single fire alarm in the home should the worst happen. These should be replaced every five to ten years depending on manufacturer guarantee.
Keep your home well ventilated
Keep your home well ventilated with the use of an AOV window smoke vent, which can be purchased inexpensively and will help to clear smoke and fumes in the event of a fire and needing to evacuate a home quickly.
Look at the amount of clutter around the home. With little ones around, it’s impossible to keep every surface, doorway, and floor space completely free. Make sure blankets and clothing aren’t piled up against any heat sources and ensure that any materials that are likely to catch fire are kept away from radiators, fires, and stoves.
Avoid using candles
Try not to use candles or matches with small children around. There are many other safer versions, such as flameless, which are rechargeable or sometimes battery operated and can be left safely.
With the above point in mind, always make sure matches and lighters are kept well out of reach in locked cupboards. It’s easy to see how even a sensible and responsible child could get into difficulty with a match if they try to light it.
Throw away old appliances
Try to ditch really old electrical appliances. Just because it’s been in the family for generations and your Nan used it in 1965 without a problem, doesn’t mean it’s safe to continue using fifty years later! Old appliances don’t come with new safety standards in mind. They’re fire hazards and shouldn’t be anywhere near small children.
Have a Fire Safety Plan in Place
Even very young children can follow a fire escape plan with the help of their parents, so it’s essential to put one in place. Make sure any plan considers your children’s ability and cognition. There’s no need to run through a fire safety escape plan every single day or week, but make sure you do it once every few months.
In addition to this, make sure all exits in the home are free of toys, debris and clutter so that in the event everyone needs to evacuate, this can be done smoothly.
Make a diagram of your home so you can see all the available escape routes. However, it would be better to plan for two of these to be accessible at all times. Then, make certain that there is a safe meeting spot outside the home in which you can all get together and stay together until help arrives. It needs to be far enough away from the house so that in the event it collapses your family is still safe.
With a little careful thought and planning, it’s entirely possible to make fire safety an easy task that keeps your family safe and your home protected.