Kids Health

Empowering your child with fire safety know-how can save lives

One might ask, ‘when is a good time to teach your kids fire safety?’ The answer is ‘today’.

By Mehernosh Pithawalla

As parents, we always want what’s best for our children. We strive to provide them with the best training of educational and life skills such as showing them how to find out more about a food that they like or even cooking it! We send them for hours of classes for piano and watch plenty of online tutorials on making the best origami but there’s one life skill which we need to lay more importance on – fire safety.

Why is this important, one might ask. In large metro cities, the risk of fire hazards is higher, given the high density of population. According to a 195-nation analysis by Global Diseases Burden published in The BMJ Injury Prevention journal recently, in 2019 alone, India recorded 1.6 million fires and 27,027 deaths. Training your child in this crucial life skill could not only save lives, but also property.

Here are a few simple things to begin with.

Technology, you and your child’s best-friend

These days, there are gadgets galore to keep an eye on your child and also ensure their safety. Identifying potential threats in one’s home and installing a simple camera to watch your child through while you’ve had to make a quick grocery run could be a way one can quickly respond to any fire crisis while away. It is a great way to watch over their loved ones remotely from anywhere.

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The ABCs of fire tools

The first step to teaching your children fire safety is to help them identify the fire safety tools such as fire alarms and smoke detectors, extinguishers, emergency helpline numbers and how they should use them. We must also familiarise them with what constitutes fire hazards to empower them with information instead of a laundry list of do’s and don’ts. One can show them interactive videos just to liven up the learning experience along with fun pop quizzes.

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Having the right home infrastructure

Plenty of homes have box grills, and while we might feel that it’s just a tad bit of extra space for our plants, it’s actually a fire hazard. It is recommended that box grills have an opening so that in the case of an emergency, firemen can easily access your house and save lives. Children, too, must be made aware of the rationale behind having such an infrastructure and a place where the keys might reside in case of an emergency. In addition to having box grills, covering power sockets with covers, where children might poke around out of curiosity, will also help in preventing untoward incidents.

In some cases, the door of the house gets jammed in case of a fire. It is advisable to install digital locks that have a fire sensor which automatically unlocks the door in case of a fire.

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Saving things of value

We’ve all been posed with the question of ‘in the event of a fire what do you take with you?’ The answer should always be my family. Investing in a fire-resistant safe where you can put all your precious documents and things will always ensure that you never have to choose what to save – you can do both!

One might ask, ‘when is a good time to teach your kids fire safety?’ The answer is ‘today’. Fire hazards are easily preventable and arming our homes with the right gadgets while empowering our children with the right information can prevent fire hazards and maybe even save lives.

(The writer is Vice President, Godrej Security Solutions.)

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