Operation EDITH Info for Parents
Tragically, children age five and under are twice as likely to die in fires as are older children and adults. Many die because they instinctively try to hide from smoke and flames in closets and under beds. As parents, you need to reinforce some key messages about fire safety with your children. Children learn best by example, so spend some time at least twice a year practicing an exit drill with your family.
Fires can be deadly, but they don't have to be. By practicing a home exit drill with your family, you can greatly improve the chances that every member of your family will escape safely should there ever be a fire in your home. Start by sounding your smoke detector so your children will learn the sound and what they should do when they hear the alert. For preschool children, this drill will be fun and exciting. But more importantly, this drill will help children to remember these life-saving fire safety and exit procedures if and when they really need them.
Parent Fire Safety Checklist
- Install smoke detectors on every level of your home. Replace batteries at least twice a year. If bedroom doors are kept closed at night, a detector should also be installed in each bedroom.
- Prepare a home exit plan. There should be two exits from each room which means one exit could be a window. You may need to purchase chain ladders which would enable your family to exit from a second story window without injury. Such supplies are carried in local hardware and home improvement stores.
- At least twice a year, practice a home exit drill with your family. Make sure your children know:
- To tell a grown-up if they see smoke or flames
- To get out of the house when they hear the smoke detector
- Two ways to exit each room
- To go to your "family meeting place"
to go back into a burning building