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Fire safety important to keep kids safe

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By Abraham Adekunle

400+ kids younger than age ten die from fire accidents yearly globally.

In Nigeria, the most mundane of things remain untaught, not discussed or unprepared for. This cuts across different aspects of life and daily living. For instance, not many children are equipped by the educational system on what to do when they are stranded or when they find themselves alone in the middle of nowhere. It is even safe to say that many adults cannot use a map, whether digital or in hard copy. The effect of this can be found in the durability of home appliances in households as well as of machines in industries.

More so, Nigerians in general do not really prepare for fire accidents or any related situations. Fire outbreaks usually take many by surprise and many also become confused about what to do once they are confronted with what to do. Necessary preventive gadgets or installations, such as fire extinguishers and alarm systems, are often missing in homes and many times at workplaces. But it is important that children as well as adults are educated on necessary steps to take whenever an outbreak of fire occurs. This can help save lives before the fire department arrives at the scene.

Parents should also set up preventive measures.

It becomes relatable with the statistics that more than 400 children under the age of ten die globally from fire-related accidents every year. So, teaching children the importance of fire safety and educating them on measures they can take in the event of a fire outbreak is very important. It will grant them the confidence to make proper choices and respond in the most effective manner when faced with fire-related incidents. While equipping them with the foresight and vigilance to react appropriately, one should also balance out their knowledge with some key preventive measures as parents.

Prevention is the most important part of fire safety. Parents are advised to work towards avoiding a mishap before it occurs. Parents should always keep flammable materials away from the reach of children. Items like candles, fireworks, matches and lighters should be kept in places where children do not have access to them. Children who need a fire to complete an assignment or school project should only be granted access under strict supervision by a parent or guardian.

How children should react in an emergency situation.

Still on prevention, many children love to assist their parents with preparing meals in the kitchen. When doing so, they should be placed at a safe distance from gas cookers and stoves while cooking. Many households can now afford the use of gas and electric cookers. A fire extinguisher should always be on standby, and placed in a location that is open to everyone. Children should be taught how to properly operate and safely disconnect electrical appliances. Primary precautionary tips like these should be regularly emphasized to children, while also explaining their importance in detail. It will help them develop a good understanding of fire safety.

Next, teaching your child how to react in the event of fire outbreaks and emergencies is also a crucial piece in the fire safety arrangement. Many children commonly resort to panic by instinct. However, parents can reorient their mindsets to focus on better ways to handle these situations. Children should learn the important emergency contacts. Since 2014, 112 has been Nigeria toll-free emergency number for prompt response to emergencies. Lagos State also instituted 767 as a toll-free emergency call service. Kids should also be told that 911 or 999 is available in most jurisdictions. When in close proximity to a mobile device at the time of an emergency, their first instinct should be to seek for help, and they can get quick responses by reaching out to these sources.

Emergency routine should be established and revisited often.

Most importantly, they should be taught to flee for safety through an emergency exit, if any is available, rather than hide in the event of a fire outbreak. This is an important fire safety education tip as it boosts their chances of surviving a life-threatening situation. It reduces the risk of being trapped inside a collapsing building, and dampens the chances of sustaining serious injuries and burns. It will also lower their exposure to the toxic smoke caused by the fire, as smoke inhalation may sometimes lead to greater health issues than the fire itself. The essence of fire safety education for children is teaching them how to act smartly with courage and wisdom, as well as to take decisive actions that will boost their chances of survival. It is also important to create a fire emergency routine and revisit it regularly with your child.

Related Link

Lagos State Government: Website

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