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The holiday season has officially started. Are you ready for all those lovely candles? If you have a baby or young children, it is also time to make fire safety a topic of discussion again and to undertake some action!

Babies and fire safety

Did you recently become parents? Many people do not give fire safety much thought until they have children, and want to do everything in their power to keep their little ones safe. Small babies have one advantage when it comes to fire safety they cannot yet play with matches, turn the stove on, or do anything else that would cause danger.

They can also not run away in case of fire however, so we as parents need to make sure we do everything we can to make sure there will be no fire. If it does happen, we want to make sure we know about it immediately. What can parents of young babies do to keep the whole family soon? If you don't have a fire alarm, installing one is the obvious and crucial first step. Families who do have a fire alarm should make sure the batteries are not empty and check if it is still working.

Step two would be to make sure that you don't do things that hold a high risk of causing a fire. Besides things like leaving candles near curtains or making a long phone call in another room while you have things on the stove, also make sure you don't overload electricity outlets. I hope you don't smoke if you have a baby, but if you do, this is most definitely a fire hazard as well as a more general health hazard. Hoarding is another habit that can increase your fire risk.

One more thing those cute all-synthetic onesies are a real problem too. Stay away from those highly flammable materials, and use natural fibers instead. Those can catch fire too, but less easily.

Teaching children about fire safety

Children under five years of age are most likely of all age groups to die in a fire. There are various reasons for this, but it is good to keep in mind that toddlers and preschoolers may be fascinated with matches, lighters and candles and may cause a fire if unsupervised. Keep any fire-producing items safely out of reach if you are a gun owner, you wouldn't leave your weapon with a young child.

A lighter seems so innocent, but can have much the same effect as a gun. Once you have that out of the way, again make sure that you have a working fire alarm in place, on all the floors of your house. Then, work out an effective escape plan that you can practice with your children as well.

Having an escape plan and practicing your fire drill regularly will increase everyone's chances of survival in the event of a fire. You will ideally need at least two ways out of every room. Arrange a meeting place not too far from your home to meet at after escape, or set up a good neighbor's house as a place which your kids can go to in case something happened to you. Also teach your kids that smoke rises, and crawling on the floor may be the best way to avoid asphyxiation. Wow.

Everyone knows that a fire alarm an escape plan are good ideas, but how many families actually use them? We have a fire alarm, and it works. But an escape plan? We recently moved house and I have to say that we have several rooms that have only one way out if you exclude the windows. We'll have to think about obtaining rope ladders that go back to street level, though I am not sure young kids can actually use them without falling down. This is something we'll have to find a solution for, because it can take as little as two minutes for a fire to spread around a house! When that smoke alarm sounds, you need to get out immediately and know how instinctively, without even thinking about it. Studies have shown that kids don't always awake when the smoke alarm sounds. You'll need a plan in place to take care of that too.

In our family, we decided to all sleep in the same room. That wasn't because of any fire risk, but being close together obviously does allow you to take care of your kids in any emergency situation more easily. Baby sitters should always be familiar with escape routes and fire rules in the house. Make sure that your babysitter does not smoke.

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