90 Days of Summer Fun: Alarm Your Kid this Summer

Fire Hazard!

My daughter wasn’t quite two when I almost burned our home to the ground. Now, it wasn’t as bad as that sounds, but to sum up, our dishwasher was broken, I was boiling bottles a la my grandmother’s technique, and my cat with cancer had just returned from surgery. The husband was asleep, and clearly I had a lot on my plate. I went to bed without turning off the boiling bottles.

Lesson learned…I’m a firm believer that that sort of thing only happens once to you. At least I hope. So anyway, after the smoke cleared–literally, we added a few more smoke alarms and set out to be more diligent about fire safety. My daughter, though she was tiny, still remembers the “beep, beep, beep,” of the smoke detector as she was being whisked off to my neighbors apartment. She brought it up again this week, and so we made a lesson in safety of it.

Things you can do this summer to jump start the safety talks:

1- Talk about safety. Discuss natural disasters and emergency situations, and be sure to answer any questions your child may have. Help them understand that you are there to protect them and so are many other people, like firefighters, police officers and more.

2- Make an Escape Plan and practice it with your child at least quarterly, if not more frequently.

3- Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure batteries are changed twice a year, test them too.

4- Check your home for fire hazards and remove them. Are there too many plugs in one outlet? Is there a rug too close to the fireplace? Does the fireplace have a screen in front of it? Are there items too close to space heaters? Are there items blocking your escape plan path?

5- Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.

Here are some great resources for exploring fire safety with your child:

1) Your local Firehouse: Most firehouses LOVE kids and are happy to let them explore and talk to them about fire safety. It’s also a great first step to help them feel safe, and understand a firefighter’s role is to protect them.

2) Be FireSmart for Children: a great interactive website with a video to help kids understand the garb firefighters wear and why. It explains hazards that can be found in the home, so they know what not to do and how to help prevent common fire hazards. Plus games, a coloring book and more.

3) Sparky.org, a great website for little ones with videos about fire safety, games, activities and more.

4) A Fire Museum: If you are in a city like NYC, go visit the local Fire Museum, with old vehicles and a history of how fires were handled a century ago. The NYC Fire Museum is well worth the visit, and apparently many cities have one, so be sure to explore it!

5) And for more on personal and fire safety, check out the JTB Safety Box, with great books, toys and games to help your child understand the importance of staying safe.

Jade's ToyBox Safety Box

So don’t wait until fire safety week, and don’t count on your child’s preschool teacher to cover it, make it a priority for the safety of your family.


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