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[Guest Editor] Jackson Holt: 5 ways to teach kids about fire safety

In Features, Guest Editors, Home + Living, Stories by Nicole Fuge

As mums, we are experts in a lot of things. Fire safety is not one of them. So we asked Jackson Holt, Specification Manager at Brooks Australia, to share his top tips on how to teach kids about fire safety.

By Jackson Holt

1. Start Early and Make it Engaging

Begin teaching fire safety concepts as early as possible. Use age-appropriate materials, stories, and games to make the learning experience enjoyable and engaging for young children. Integrate fire safety into playtime activities, incorporating elements such as role-playing and interactive games to reinforce key messages. 

An example might be where kids become “Fire Safety Detectives” where they go around with magnifying glasses (or “safety goggles”) around the house, searching for potential fire hazards. As they find items like matches or candles, encourage them to share their findings and discuss why these could be risky.

By turning fire safety into an exciting mission rather than a lecture, children are more likely to retain the information and apply it in real-life situations, ensuring a safe and educational experience.

Activities like colouring sheets and quizzes are also great way to reinforce important information.

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2. Create a Fire Escape Plan

Involve children in creating a family fire escape plan. Make it a collaborative effort, discussing the safest routes and meeting points outside the house. Practice fire drills to ensure that children are familiar with the escape plan. This helps them react quickly and calmly in case of a real emergency.

You can even organise fire drills, turning them into a friendly competition to see who can safely exit the house the fastest. Not sure what to do? Here is some useful info to help you create a fire safety plan and checklist.

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3. Education on Smoke Alarms

Explain the purpose of smoke alarms and why they are crucial for early detection of fires. Ensure that children know the sound of the alarm and what to do when they hear it.

A great way to involve them is by regularly testing smoke alarms together with children. Teach them how to recognise the sound of the smoke alarm and what actions to take when they hear it such as using the fire escape plan.

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4. Kitchen Safety Lessons

Educate children about the dangers of playing with kitchen appliances and the importance of staying away from the stove tops, ovens, BBQs and other potentially dangerous items when they are in use or when there isn’t an adult in the kitchen. Taking preventative measures by educating children on which appliances could be dangerous is important to keep them safe. 

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5. Encourage Open Communication

Create an environment where children feel comfortable discussing fire safety concerns or questions. Remember that repetition is key, and ongoing reinforcement of these lessons will help solidify the importance of fire safety in children’s minds.

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