It is getting into that chilly season, a time when heaters kick in, more hours are spent indoors baking gingerbread cookies (to make houses with), evenings have cozy fires in the fireplace...all of this is great, but also could lead to one of the main home hazards -- a fire. Again, not a pleasant thing to think about, but 'tis the season to recheck those smoke detectors and carbon dioxide alarms...as well as a few not as obvious things.
I remember "Stop! Drop! Roll!" and when my daughter came home from preschool with that same saying, I realized we hadn't done enough talking about the dangers of fire and how to prevent them. Look over this checklist and get your kids involved as you do it -- a perfect way to show them good safe home habits.
-- Don't wear loose-fitting clothes while cooking as they may catch on fire more easily. That means robes while making pancake breakfast, people. And, while you are wearing slimmer fitting clothes, remember don't leave a stove or burner unattended.
-- Examine cords and outlets. Look for fraying on cords, and don't plug too many items into the same outlet or circuit. Also, be sure cords do not run under rugs; cords can short out and cause a fire.
-- Don't lean anything against that heater. Always leave a good amount of space around heaters, fans, fireplaces, and so on.
-- Keep all matches and lighters away from the kids. It is easy thing to overlook and, even though we tell them many times not to play with them, it is our job to be sure anything that could start a fire is stored far away from tiny hands.
-- Make an escape plan...and practice it. Kids should know how to get out of the house in an emergency by themselves and where to go once they are out (the neighbor's mail box, a swing set in the backyard, so on).
-- Buy and or replace fire extinguishers and have one on every floor and in the kitchen. The last thing you want to have happen is a fire in the upstairs bathroom and the extinguisher is two floors down. Be sure they are up-to-date and that you remember how to use one. They make some quite small these days, easily stored in a linen closet or your bedroom closet.
Do you need to do any of these fire safety hints? Do you have any to add?