To some, October signals the end of things, like the warm weather and summer vacations. But to many others, it’s also the beginning of one of the best times of year, including apple picking, leaf-peeping and star gazing on brisk nights when the skies seem to be at their clearest.
October is also the beginning of something else that’s a bit more serious: residential fire season.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more home fires occur during the cold weather months than any other time of year, mainly due to home heating equipment. In fact, the second-leading cause of home fire injuries in the United States is heating equipment – like space heaters – topped only by cooking materials.
“The theme of Fire Prevention Week is ‘Hear the Beep Where You Sleep.'”
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme was “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep.” As its name suggests, homeowners and renters should ensure not only that their home is outfitted with smoke detectors – i.e. there should be at least one on every level of the home – but also that it’s loud enough for people to hear when sensors are triggered. All Corvias Military Living homes are equipped with smoke detectors and should be checked monthly to ensure they are operating properly.
While fire safety is a serious issue, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your kids to help ensure that they understand what to do when there’s a fire or the smoke detector alarm goes off. The following are a few examples of how you can make fire safety prevention fun and educational at the same time:
Take an online quiz
Exams and quizzes may not be all that fun in a school setting, but the NFPA has an interactive online tool that kids can use to strut their stuff by answering 11 multiple choice questions. You can have your kids take the short quiz before or after your fire safety activities. Either way, it’ll give you an idea of what they know and what else you can do to further instill their understanding of fire safety.
Make a map
Every home needs to have a safety route, a map that outlines where all the rooms of the house are and the nearest outlet to escape safely. NFPA has a few examples of how you can draw the map of your house’s interior. Be sure to note where all the fire alarms are as well in your diagram. Your son or daughter will almost certainly be happy to help. You can have them draw their own room or involve them by counting how many windows there are in the house, for example, and which ones are the best to use for escape when there’s an emergency.
Run a practice drill
Put your newly created map to good use by having practice fire drills. In these scenarios, you pretend there’s a fire. After you’ve explained to your kids the best place to go when there’s a fire, see how quickly they can escape from the house. You may want to do this several times, with your kids starting out in different portions of the house on each trial run to see which route is the quickest. Don’t forget to talk about where to go once outside as well.
For more examples and tips on how to make fire safety fun, visit NFPA’s website.