How to talk to your children about fire safety
Give children under five years old clear instructions of what they should and shouldn’t do. With older children, it’s better to also explain why.
You will probably need to talk about fire safety more than once, to make sure they have remembered and understood what you have taught them. Tell them:
- never to play with matches, lighters, or lighted candles and to tell a grown-up if they see matches or lighters lying around
- never to play, or leave toys close to a fire or heater
- not to pull on electric cables or fiddle with electrical appliances or sockets
- never to switch on the cooker or put anything on top of it
- never touch any saucepans on the cooker.
Explain that fire is not a toy and that it can hurt and cause damage.
A memorable rhyme for young children:
“matches, lighters, never touch, they can hurt you very much”
How to talk to your children about escape plans
It’s important that the children in your home know what to do in the event of a fire, but you need to take care of how to do this without frightening them.
When making the fire escape plan include the children; everyone in the house needs to know what to do.
- Practise and go through the fire escape plan together – practise in the dark too.
- Download our printable escape plan sheet (PDF) and go through this with children.
- When talking to children refer to what they do at school in their fire drill – and apply that to your home situation.
In school, children will regularly practice what to when the fire alarm goes off. Though the first time they hear the fire alarm at school they may have been scared, with time and reassurance from their teachers, they realise the importance of knowing what to do and how to behave in an emergency situation.