By American Red Cross
The American Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year — one every eight minutes — and most are home fires. You can reduce your family’s risk of being harmed by a home fire by talking with your children about home fire safety, developing a fire escape plan, and practicing it with them several times a year. Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.
In partnership with Disney, the Red Cross recently created the Monster Guard App, a free app for smart devices available through any app store. Children can play games that teach what to do in the event of a house fire. They can also learn how to create their own fire escape plan for their home.
In addition to creating and practicing a fire escape plan with your whole family, the Red Cross recommends that adults:
- Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of the reach of children.
- Always dress children in pajamas that meet federal flammability standards. Avoid loose-fitting, 100-percent cotton garments.
- Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm and teach them what to do when they hear it.
- Teach your children not to be scared of firefighters. Take them to your local fire department to meet them, see the gear they wear, and learn about fire safety and prevention.
- Teach your children to tell you or a responsible adult when they find matches or lighters at home or school.
- Check under beds and in closets for burnt matches; evidence your child may be playing with fire.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas. Having a working smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by nearly half.
Download the Red Cross First Aid App at redcross.org/apps to get access to life-saving information on what to do for common, everyday first aid emergencies including burns.
For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information, visit redcross.org/homefires.