No one ever thinks that a home fire will happen to their family, and as a consequence, the average household is severely under prepared. When you have small children, preparation that involves the entire family is essential. Getting everyone ready for the possibility of a house fire might save a life one day, and it can be a great opportunity to have quality family time.

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Minimize Fire Risks

You should give your home a thorough examination to make sure that there are no areas where a fire could accidentally start. Be sure to only plug the recommended number of cords into each outlet, and keep floors around the outlet completely clear of clutter. Each winter before firing up your heating system, give it a complete inspection, or have a professional examine it for possible problems. This is also a good time to have your chimney cleaned if you have a fireplace in your home.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are the first line of defense against fires. You should have one on every level, and check the batteries on an annual basis to make sure they are still working. Use the test function on the smoke alarm to let your children hear what it sounds like. They need to know what to do when they hear the smoke alarm sounding.

Make a Plan

Every family needs an escape plan in case of fire. This plan should outline escape routes based on fire location and time of day. Each room needs at least two different escape points. In case the fire is blocking one exit, your children need an alternate one. You should also make separate escape plans for night and day. Your plan will need to change based on if the family is sleeping or going about the daily routine.

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Choose a Meet Up Location

Even if everyone escapes the house during a fire, it could be dangerous if the family does not know where to go once they leave the burning building. Lives could be jeopardized if it is assumed that there are still people in the building who need to be rescued. It is very important that each family member knows an exact location to meet up in the event that a burning house needs to be evacuated. The landmark should be clear and memorable for young family members or for those who may be disoriented from smoke.

Make It a Game

Your children should know that a house fire is serious and can be deadly, but the preparation does not have to be an event that they dread. Make planning and preparation into a fun family play time. Have the kids draw pictures of what they will do during a fire. Set a stopwatch and tell your kids that the first one to successfully complete your escape route gets a prize. Contact your local fire department to see if your family can come pay a visit. Firehouses often have programs to teach children about fire safety, and kids love sliding down the fire pole and playing on the truck. You should go over your fire plan with the entire family at least once every six months. If you have small children, you may want to do this every couple of months to keep it fresh in their memory.

With the right prevention in place you will never have to utilize your family fire plan. Educating your kids about fire safety will not only keep them safe in case of a fire in your home, but will give them tools they can use at school or while spending the night with a friend.

Bio – This guest post is courtesy of Atlantic Training, a compliance and safety training company that provides a large selection of dvds and videos including fire safety dvds and safety training dvds.