Hondo Fire and Rescue volunteers frequently visit local schools to help children understand Elmo’s message: fighters are their friends. With young children, typically we will do a demo, starting in our street clothes and then bunkering up into our heavy suits and air tanks, then reversing the process, to let the youngsters see there is an ordinary person inside that odd-looking garb. The point? We want to be sure that youngsters do not hide during search-and-rescue operations, but allow themselves to be found by responders. Despite our sometimes scary-looking masks and strange equipment, firefighters are here to serve and protect all ages!
If you are an educator and would like to teach your students a concrete lesson about fire safety, please contact our department to schedule a classroom visit.
The U.S. Fire Administration promotes these guidelines for parents who want to keep their youngsters safe.
Have a family escape plan. Talk about it with your kids. Young children will need very concrete instruction on the importance of exiting a burning structure as quickly as possible by the least dangerous route. Infants and toddlers will need an adult or older child assisting them in the event of emergency.
Test your smoke alarm so that children know what a smoke detector sounds like, and are clear about what to do when they hear that noise. In your pre-plan, discuss everyone’s role in an emergency. Make sure your kids know what to do if there are no adults around.
Consider alternative escape routes in our family’s plan. Insure that there are at least two viable exits from every room. If the door or usual egress is blocked or dangerous, a window may be the only safe way out.
Decide on where to meet outside if a fire breaks out in the home. Children should be taught never to re-enter a burning building.
Keeping kids safe from burns
Many children are naturally curious about fire and instinctively want to experiment. Parents can do their part to keep kids out of trouble.
- Woodstoves, space heaters and stove tops can cause serious injuries. Keep youngsters at least three feet away from heated surfaces in the home.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach. If you smoke, make sure your cigarettes and matches are kept in a high place secure from children.
- Children naturally imitate. Never play with fire, matches or lighters when your children are present.
For these tips and others, thanks to U.S. Fire Administration, where you can find more fire-sense for families.