This section of the Kid's Corner is designed to help teachers and parents guide children through the process of fire safety education. It includes discussion points for talking about fire safety and prevention.
The intention of the Kid's Corner is to provide children with an engaging, fun and valuable learning experience. But, this takes both participation and enthusiasm on the part of the teacher or parent.
Use the following fire safety and prevention information to lead discussions.
Control kids' access to fire:
- Keep all matches and lighters out of the hands of children. If possible, keep these sources of fire in locked drawers. Consider buying only "child-proof" lighters -- but be aware that no product is completely child-proof.
- Children as young as two years old can strike matches and start fires.
- Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.
- Teach children not to pick up matches or lighters they may find. Instead, they should tell an adult immediately.
Fire safety at home:
- Smoke detectors should be installed on every floor of the home, especially near sleeping areas.
- Smoke detectors should be kept clean of dust by regularly vacuuming over and around them.
- Replace batteries in smoke detectors at least once a year. And replace the entire unit after ten years of service, or as the manufacturer recommends.
- Families should plan and practice two escape routes from each room of their home.
- Regularly inspect the home for fire hazards.
- If there are adults in the home who smoke, they should use heavy safety ashtrays -- and discard ashes and butts in metal, sealed containers or the toilet.
- If there is a fireplace in the home, the entire opening should be covered by a heavy safety screen. The chimney should be professionally inspected and cleaned annually.
Kids may be experimenting with fire if you notice:
- Evidence of fire play, such as burnt matches, clothes, paper, toys, etc., or if you smell smoke in hair or clothes.
- Inappropriate interest in firefighters and/or fire trucks, such as frequent, improper calls to the fire department or 9-1-1.
- Child asks or tries to light cigarettes or candles for you or other adults.
- Matches or lighters in their pockets or rooms.
Turn kids' interest into safe outcomes:
- Talk to your child or students in a calm, assured manner about fire safety.
- Consider visiting a fire station if children are very interested in fire fighting and/or fire trucks (call for an appointment first; 971-8400 in Cuyahoga Falls). Have the firefighter talk about his/her job and the dangers of fire.
- For parents: Create opportunities for learning about fire safety at home. For example, when you cook, let your child get the pot holder for you; when you use the fireplace, let your child bring you the wood or tools; and if you use candles, let the child check to make sure the candle holder fits snugly.
What to do if you suspect your student/child is playing with fire:
- Talk to the child about his or her actions. Explain again that fire is a tool for use only by adults, and that it is very dangerous for children.
- The Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department has a Firesetters Program for children who are inappropriately interested in fire or who have set fires. Parents and/or teachers are encouraged to call and make an appointment to visit with the Firesetter Program Officer (971-8400 in Cuyahoga Falls).