As parents, we always want the best for our children. We strive to provide them with the best training in education and life skills, such as showing them how to learn more about a food they love or even how to cook it! We send them hours of piano lessons and watch lots of online tutorials on how to make the best origami, but there’s one life skill we need to put more emphasis on: fire safety.
Why is this important, one might ask. In large metropolitan cities, the risk of fire is higher, given the high population density. According to an analysis of 195 countries by Global Diseases Burden published recently in The BMJ Injury Prevention journal, in 2019 alone, India recorded 1.6 million fires and 27,027 deaths. Training your child in this crucial life skill could save not only lives, but property as well.
Here are a few simple things to get started.
Technology, you and your child’s best friend
These days there are plenty of gadgets to keep an eye on your child and keep them safe. Identifying potential threats in your home and setting up a simple camera to watch your child while you’ve had to run for a quick grocery run could be a way to quickly respond to any fire outbreaks while you’re away. It is a great way to monitor loved ones remotely from anywhere.
The basics of fire tools
The first step in teaching your children about fire safety is to help them identify fire safety tools such as fire alarms and smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, emergency assistance numbers and how to use them. . We also need to familiarize them with what constitutes a fire hazard to provide them with information instead of a list of dos and don’ts. They can be shown interactive videos just to brighten up the learning experience with fun quizzes.
Have the right infrastructure at home
Many homes have box grilles, and while we might think it’s just a little extra space for our plants, it’s actually a fire hazard. It is recommended that box gates have an opening so that in an emergency firefighters can easily access your home and save lives. Children, too, should be made aware of the rationale for such an infrastructure and a place where keys could reside in an emergency. In addition to having box grills, covering power outlets with lids, which children might poke around out of curiosity, will also help prevent untoward incidents.
In some cases, the door of the house gets stuck in the event of a fire. It is advisable to install digital locks with a fire sensor that automatically unlocks the door in the event of a fire.
Save valuable things
We have all been asked the question “in case of fire, what do you take with you?” The answer should always be my family. Investing in a fireproof safe where you can store all your documents and valuables will always ensure that you never have to choose what to keep – you can do both!
One might ask, “When is the right time to teach your children about fire safety?” The answer is “today”. Fire hazards are easily preventable, and arming our homes with the right gadgets while giving our children the right information can prevent fire hazards and possibly even save lives.
(The author is vice president of Godrej Security Solutions.)