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L’exercice de feu pour enfants
July 2018

Fire drills for kids

It's summer! So why not take some time to do a fire drill with the kids? Kids need to practice doing things and following instructions repetitively before they can do them without thinking. The fact that they haven’t got much keeping their minds busy right now makes it the ideal time of year to teach them some important info.

Explain the home escape plan clearly

Make a clear escape plan, and explain it to your kids. They need to be able to understand why it's important and then memorize it. The plan should cover all the exits, the fastest path to get there, the outside meeting point, and the location of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. Make a game out of it so that it's fun for kids to learn.

Make sure doorways and windows easy to open

It's not always easy to keep rooms tidy when you've got little ones at home. But you need to make sure the doors and windows are easy enough for kids to get to and open themselves. Demonstrate how to unlock them, and have your kids try it over and over so that it becomes second nature.

Teach your kids the basics

Knowing how to get out of the house in the event of fire is one thing. Doing it without getting hurt is another. Teach your kids to check whether a door is hot before opening it. If it is, they need to leave the house another way. Show them how to do a low crawl to avoid inhaling a lot of smoke. And in case their hair or clothes catch fire, teach them how to put out the flames with a thick cloth like a towel or blanket, and of course, teach them to stop, drop and roll.

Take the lesson to storytime

Look for kids' books about fires and read them to your kids.  By hearing stories of kids who escape fires, your kids will become more aware of what to do in an emergency.

Practice makes perfect

Do a fire drill on a regular basis, at different times of day. Start out during the daytime to get the kids used to it. Then, switch to the evening and the middle of the night. Smoke quickly turns black and creates darkness, so by doing nighttime drills your kids will be well-prepared to escape even if they can’t see. 

Action!

Fire drills may be essential, but that doesn’t mean they have to be a drag. Turn them into a game and get your kids to want to participate, with the help of prizes or treats. Make it fun so that your kids want to learn what to do. And remember: the key to success is repetition, so plan at least a few fire drills this summer.
 

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