November is fire safety month: do you have a plan?

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November is fire safety month. More home fires occur in the months of November and December than at any other time. This is mainly due to various ways of heating the home, Christmas lights and seasonal candles. Therefore, it is very important for teachers, firefighters and parents to teach children the importance of fire safety.

Most children learn about fire prevention and fire safety at school, but parents need to reinforce the information at home. When reviewing fire safety with your children at home, here are a few tips:

1. Draw an escape route for your kids on a piece of paper. Then go over the map of your house several times with escape routes highlighted. Show where exits are, such as doors and windows.

2. Fix windows that are stuck or painted shut. Make sure your child can open the window or door in every room.

3. Teach your child about smoke detectors and how they work. Let them hear the sound of the alarm so the child will recognize it and know what to do.

4. Teach kids how to touch the doors to determine if there is a fire on the other side. Explain when and how to get a wet towel and block the airway under the door or to put the towel over the hot door knobs to escape.

5. When a real fire occurs, the smoke makes it hard to see. Children should know how to feel their way out of their house to get to safety. Make the practice fun by using a blindfold.

6. Decide on a meeting place outside of the home where everyone in the family should meet in the event there is a fire.

Carefully practicing these fire safety steps could mean the difference in life and death if there is a fire in the home. Start working on your home fire safety routine immediately to be prepared.

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