7 fire safety rules your kids must know

Teaching your child about fire prevention, plus, ways to stay safe should a blaze break out.

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Hearing stories about a home being razed in a fire makes everyone nervous ― especially parents ― whose first thoughts are for their munchkins’ well-being. Fire accidents can occur anytime, anywhere and very often end disastrously. The last thing anyone wants is to imagine their kids being caught in one.

Unfortunately, residential fires in Singapore are on the rise. Just this week, Singapore’s Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo pointed out in Parliament that in 2016, 70 per cent of fire injuries in Singapore came from blazes in homes. A decade ago, residential fires were lower, at 40 per cent.

Fire safety is an important subject, especially for children, yet it is one parents often neglect to teach.

In a move to lower the numbers, the Government has also announced that it will be fitting all new homes with battery-operated smoke alarms.

While this initiative will certainly help to reduce the number of fire injuries and fatalities, education is also key. Fire safety is an important subject, especially for children, yet it is one parents often neglect to teach.

Prevention is definitely better than cure in avoiding fires, so, it’s important to let junior know what to do should one break out. This is even more important if both you and your spouse are working and your kiddo is left at home with a caregiver.

So, follow this easy 7-step guide to teach your tyke about fire safety and prevention.

Rule #1 Don’t play with fire

Seems pretty straightforward, but it’s not enough to just tell your munchkin not to play with fire. You also have to let them know why it’s dangerous and what happens if they do. It’s not about instilling fear in them, but rather to equip them with all the facts, so they’ll act better. Show junior items that can cause fires such as, matches, stove ignitors, cigarette lighters and lit candles. It’s also a good idea to show junior how to use fire safely, so as to reduce his curiosity about playing with fire hazards such as matches.

Rule #2 Always be alert to fire hazards

Once junior knows what causes fires, he can look out for potential fire hazards. Make sure to tell him that if he finds a box of matches or a lighter, he should bring it to an adult at once. The same goes for stove flames that are too close to a dish rag or paper towels. Or lit candles that are too near the curtains. Show it to him, so he knows exactly what to look out for. Bring junior around the house with you when you check for fire hazards, such as old and loose electrical cords, unused power switches that are on or accumulated cigarette ash.