Parents can rest comfortably knowing that once their children are teenagers or pre-teens, they are more likely to remain calm in the event of a fire and have a better chance of making it out safely. However, kids in this age group are actually more likely to cause house fires. The majority of house fires started by children are accidents, but there are a few that are started intentionally. Fortunately, discussing fire safety and prevention with your children on a regular basis can prevent blazes.
- Make a family escape plan and discuss it with your kids. Be sure everyone is on the same page in regards to getting out of the home and where to go once they’re out.
- Since many pre-teens and teenagers use the microwave and maybe even the stove, discuss kitchen safety. Younger pre-teens and inexperienced teens should be instructed to never heat anything in the kitchen without an adult’s supervision.
- Instruct your children on what to do if they cannot safely escape their room or another part of the home. They should know how to cover vents and doorways to prevent smoke from entering the room and have access to a flashlight to signal for help.
- Talk to teenagers about burning candles in their bedroom and make sure they never leave one burning while asleep.
- Cell phones may overheat while charging and cause a fire if they are near something flammable, such as bedding. Warn your teen to never sleep with their phone in the bed or under their pillow, especially while the phone is charging.
Below are additional sites to learn more about fire safety for older children, teens and young adults:
- Fire Safety: What Every Child Should Know (Youtube Video)
- Dealing with Burns (KidsHealth.org)
- Fire Safety Resource Materials for Teenagers (Fire Safety Council)
- Fire Safety and Fire Prevention (National Institutes of Health)