fire safety for children

Teaching Children and Teenagers about Fire Safety


If you have children, grandchildren or nieces & nephews it is never too early to start the conversation with them about fire safety. Whilst children and young people may learn about fire safety and evacuation procedures at school don’t forget to think about keeping them safe while at home.

As a family we suggest that you aim to have a regular conversation about what to do should a fire break out at home.  Talk about how you would escape from the house, think about whether potential exit routes are accessible (if windows and doors are locked, are the keys easy to access?).

Also ensure all family members are aware of the role of emergency services; do they know where the telephone is and how to dial 999 for the Fire Service?

On the subject of fire prevention, you could also explain the benefits of keeping doors closed at night, to prevent or slow the spread of fire. Making sure appliances and switched off and unplugged and taking special care with matches and candles.

Involving small children in ‘helping’ to test smoke alarms can be a good way to start the conversation. While you don’t want to frighten them unnecessarily and we appreciate that a fire at home is the ‘worst case’ scenario, talking about it with your family increases the chances of everyone knowing what to do should the worst happen.

We know that teenagers like to push the boundaries, be daring and have adventures and that these are all part of growing more independent and into an adult. However, it is easy for some of these activities to get out of hand, so what can you do to help your young people stay safe?

Teenagers are more likely to be left home alone. Before doing so have a conversation with them about what they would do if a fire should break out. Do they understand what smoke alarms are for and what a beeping one means? Do they know that they should get out of the house as quickly as possible? Would they know how to get in touch with the emergency services and alert neighbours.

With the range of electrical gadgets the majority of teenagers have nowadays it is also important to talk about electrical safety and the risks. Mobile phones, PlayStation, Xboxes and laptops routinely used for homework can all pose a risk if not used safely. Make your older children aware that they shouldn’t leave chargers plugged in overnight, not to leave charging equipment on beds or soft furnishings to reduce the risk of them overheating. It is also important that they are only using the correct charger for each item – many chargers sold cheaply online are not manufactured to adequate safety standards and pose a risk of fire and even electric shock.

We hope you find these tips helpful, for further fire safety advice for children we’d recommend taking a look at this website.