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How to create a family fire safety plan, without scaring your kids

Posted at 2:17 PM, Jan 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-03 16:32:47-05


Heating equipment is involved in 1 out of 6 home fires and 1 of every 5 fire deaths at home. Keep all heating appliances like space heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, stoves and radiators at least three feet away from anything that can burn. Heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires, deaths, and injuries. December, January, and February are the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, figuring in two of every five fires (40%).

In the winter months, we are at greater risk from the 'Silent Killer.' A person can be poisoned by a small amount of Carbon Monoxide (CO) over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time. Fire departments respond to tens of thousands of CO emergencies, not related to a structure fire, every year. That means that this common emergency occurs about nine times every hour across the nation.
Winter storms

Most of the U.S. is at risk for winter storms, which can cause dangerous and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Blinding wind-driven snow, extreme cold, icy road conditions, downed trees and power lines can all wreak havoc on our daily schedules. Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season.

Safety plan
-Create a home fire safety plan with exits and outside meeting locations
-Prepare 72-hour kits
-Have professionals clean/inspect heating equipment and chimneys once a year
-Plug only one heating appliance into an outlet at a time
-Clean materials that can burn at least 3 feet from heat sourcesCO detectors should be placed, at least, on every floor and outside of every sleeping area of your home

CO detectors should be placed, at least, on every floor and outside of every sleeping area of your home
-Never use your oven to heat your home

How to make a plan without frightening your kids:
-Don't make it scary
We are planning for a scary event but our brains don't work as well when scared. So try to make it fun.

- Practice the safety plan as a family.
Shows everyone their role and brings you together for a common goal.

- Practice A LOT
The more you practice the more likely your body will move into muscle memory when things get scary (trying to avoid the kids running to their rooms/closets).

-Make safety a common subject.
We want our kids to understand the importance of safety and keep an eye out for unsafe things. The more you talk about it, the more comfortable everyone will be with it.

For more on safety planning go to: