HKQ Kids

Fire Safety for You and Your Kids

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It’s the season of leaves falling, temperatures dropping, furnaces and fireplaces starting, and the scent of those beautiful fall candles.

With all of us spending more time at home, it’s time to think about fire safety for you and your kids. Every year, there are over 1 million fires in the United States, resulting in over $11 billion dollars in loss*. A few simple steps can dramatically reduce your risk and protect your family.

 • CHECK SMOKE ALARMS. Make sure there is a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and near sleeping areas. Test smoke alarms every month, and replace smoke alarms every 10 years.

• Don’t forget the CO2 alarms, a device that detects the presence of the carbon monoxide (CO) gas in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

• CREATE AND PRACTICE A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN. Create a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room. Practice a home fire drill at least twice a year with your family. Practice feeling the door, doorknob and cracks around the door with the back of your hand to see if they are too hot. Help your kids practice this step too. Choose a place to meet outside that is a safe distance away from your home.

• Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and always blow them out when you leave the room or go to sleep. Don’t allow kids to use candles in their bedrooms.

• Use common sense in the kitchen. Limit distractions and don’t leave a hot oven or stovetop unattended.

• Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency and know how to use it.

• To prevent possible fires, avoid plugging several cords into one electrical socket. And when possible, avoid extension cords. Be extra sensitive to this when putting up any holiday decorations.

• If you are using any gas-powered devices, make sure you store the gas in small, approved containers, in a locked area where children cannot access it.

• IN AN EMERGENCY, LEAVE HOME IMMEDIATELY. Make sure your family leaves the home immediately if there is a fire. Choose the safest escape route. If there is a lot of smoke, get low and crawl out of the house as quickly as possible. Call 911 after you are a safe distance away from your home. Remember, you and your family are far more important than any of the material contents of your home.

For additional safety tips, go to HKQKids.org or find us on Facebook and Instagram.

*www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/