fire life Safety

Change the Batteries in Your Smoke Detectors!

It’s the hardest weekend of the year for parents of small children. We lose an hour of sleep though our kids never quite get that, do they? Despite the fact that you may be grumpy and overtired come (early) Sunday morning, you need to remember to do something other than feed your children.

Change the batteries in your smoke detectors!

It is suggested that you change the batteries in your smoke detectors when Daylight Saving Time begins (and/or when it ends). You should also be testing your smoke detectors once a month by pressing that obnoxiously loud but life-saving little button. If you’re not, start doing so now. But change your batteries this weekend. It’s not that hard. I promise you.

The truth is that sixty-five percent of reported home fire deaths in 2000-2004 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. (USFA) And of those, 43% were without a smoke detector all together. While those fancy pants ones are a bit expensive, the truth is that a regular, working smoke detectors can save lives. Furthermore, in places like Los Angeles, it is the law to have smoke detectors in all sleeping rooms. Did you know that? Do you know the laws of your city or state? If you don’t have one, please go out and purchase one today. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, give your local fire department a call and ask if they have a program to provide smoke detectors free of charge. If you’re unsure of where to install yours or how to change the batteries, give them a call as well.

I want all of our readers to be safe and having a working smoke detector is part of that! So change those batteries and try to catch up on some sleep!

fire life

Fire Prevention Week: Utilize the Internet

This week is Fire Prevention Week. If you have children in some form of school, you might see them come home with papers on fire safety. You might hear that a fire truck has visited their school or that they took a walk to the local fire station. While the involvement of firefighters and fire departments in our kids’ school is beyond beneficial, the truth is that you can start at home, well before your kids head to preschool. It’s never too early to start talking about fire safety. This week I’ll be bringing you tips, book reviews and other great things about fire safety.

Today I though I would bring you some links so that you can utilize the Internet as you teach your children about the importance of fire safety. Even very young children can utilize Internet sites, whether for games, for reading or for printing coloring pages. All they need is you to help them locate the sites, work on whatever the site offers and to explain the importance of each site and safety tip. Here are some of my favorites.

1. The National Fire Prevention Week website actually has some great resources for parents and kids. Things like the Fire Safety Inspection Checklist (.pdf) and the Fire Safety Information card are great activities to complete with older children. The arcade on site provides for a fun way to bring a discussion about fire safety into your learning process. For the youngest set, a coloring page with Sparky is made available that highlights the important things to remember to prepare for and in the midst of a fire emergency.

2. Sprout, the PBS kids channel, has a great Fire Safety Week program going on right now, including on their website. This site provides more coloring pages, including a counting one, a Fireman Sam one and some others. (A fun thing on the Sprout site allows for you to upload a picture of your kids’ artwork once it has been completed for others’ viewing pleasure on the website! Cool!) There are also some videos on their Fire Safety page.

3. USFA Kids (US Fire Administration) has a great site that combines pertinent information (Home Fire Safety, Smoke Alarms, and Escaping from a Fire) with some games (Crossword Puzzles, Coloring Pages, a test to be a Jr. Fire Marshal among other things). I found this site to be particularly easy to navigate for a computer-independent child who wants to learn on her own.

4. Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog is one of my favorite programs regarding fire safety. Sparkles’ owner, Firefighter Dayna, is passionate about fire safety (just like we are!). They’re actually part of the Fire Safety Week on Sprout this year! Their site offers more activity pages, GREAT fire safety videos and crafts.

These are just some great online resources for you, as a parent, to help your children understand the importance of fire safety. As a parent you need to know these things as well. First and foremost, know your house’s floor plan and make a fire escape plan should an emergency occur. Teach things as simple as “stop, drop and roll” and the importance of getting low should the hallway be filled with smoke. As you help your child navigate the online resources for learning about fire safety, make sure you’re up-to-date on all of your knowledge. Your family’s lives depend on it!

Tomorrow I will have a review of some younger child storybooks that also highlight some fire safety points. Be sure to tune in all week as I bring you various tips, fun pictures and other pertinent facts on fire safety. (Also, as this is October and Halloween is just around the corner, check out our review of the best firefighter costume on the market right now, pictured above.)