Home & Fire Safety Tips for Parents
November 3, 2021
November is Child Safety & Prevention Month because sometimes keeping our children safe can be overwhelming. Danger seemingly lurks around every corner and couch cushion.
You may recall when we partnered up with Marc Klaas, founder of the KlaasKids Foundation, a few years ago. His foundation is 100% dedicated to child safety after losing his 12-year-old daughter to kidnapping.
Today, we’re bringing you his top home and fire tips, which have been compiled from the Child Safety Network and the U.S. Fire Administration. Please save and refer back to the home safety checklists below as often as needed.
We also urge you to also look back at a previous blog where we interviewed Marc for his top advice for your children, which includes things like teaching them to always follow their guts and letting their parents know where they are at all times.
General Home Safety
- Avoid using baby walkers.
- Install gates with childproof latches at the tops and bottoms of stairways.
- Use window guards or open windows from the top, as screens are not sufficient to prevent children from falling out of a window.
- Arrange furniture away from second-story windows.
- Place baby’s crib away from draperies or blinds with cords.
- Put safety covers over all electrical outlets.
- Hide electrical cords.
- Use childproof devices on cabinet doors, drawers, and doorknobs.
- Remove sharp utensils and glassware from lower drawers and shelves.
- Make sure that your children’s toys do not have sharp edges or points that may hurt them.
- Toys that produce loud noises can damage hearing.
- Do not allow them to play with electrical toys until they are old enough to do so safely.
- Backyard playground equipment should be inspected frequently for safety and stability and should have cushioned surfaces such as shredded mulch.
- House numbers should be carefully marked and visible from the street at night.
- Address numbers should be clearly posted on a high-contrasting background measuring at least five inches high.
- Keep all poisonous, flammable, and other dangerous products, plastic bags, medicines, alcohol, glues and spray cans out of sight and reach of children.
- Keep a bottle of syrup of ipecac in the medicine cabinet. If your child consumes anything poisonous, immediately call your local poison control center or your physician. You may be instructed to administer syrup of ipecac, to induce vomiting after some poisonings. Do not administer syrup of ipecac unless instructed to do so by a physician.
Fire & Burn Prevention Safety
- Teach children not to play with matches, lighters, flares, fireworks, and gasoline cans. Keep all flammable materials out of the sight and reach of children.
- Keep a fire extinguisher (“ABC” symbol) in the kitchen and garage.
- Ensure it is “UL” or “FM” rated.
- Install smoke detectors in your home in every bedroom and on every level.
- Test them monthly.
- Replace the batteries at least once each year (we recommend twice a year around daylight saving time).
- Plan and practice fire escape routes from the house.
- Choose a meeting place, a safe distance outside the house.
- Never leave small children alone in the kitchen or bathroom – for even a few seconds.
- In the kitchen, use back burners and turn pot handles to the back of the stove so that pots do not get knocked over.
- If grease catches fire, smother the flames with a pan lid – never throw water on a grease fire.
- Never carry children and hot foods or liquids at the same time.
- Lower your water heater to 120 degrees or buy an anti-scald device.
- In the bathroom, always test the water temperature before placing a child in the bathtub.
- Place one hand in the water with fingers wide, and move it back and forth for several seconds checking for hot spots.
- Never touch connected electrical appliances or cords with wet hands or feet.
- Do not reach for radios, telephones, or hair dryers while in the bath or shower.
- Unplug appliances when they are not being used.
- Unplug and remove any appliances that smoke or smell as if they are burning.
- Do not overload extension cords or run them under rugs.
- Keep furnaces and wood-burning stoves working well.
- Make sure they are not near combustible walls, ceilings, furniture, or drapes.
Marc Klaas & The KlaasKids Foundation
The KlaasKids Foundation was established in 1994 to give meaning to the death of Marc’s twelve-year-old daughter kidnap and murder victim, Polly Hannah Klaas, and to create a legacy in her name that would be protective of children for generations to come. The foundation’s mission is to stop crimes against children.
It’s obvious that Marc and his team are advocates for child safety. At his Print-a-Thon events, children are fingerprinted, their DNA is collected and stored and parents receive a bio-doc. We recommend you either reach out to them or find someone similar in your area to collect this invaluable information.
For information on smoke detectors and fire safety for your home, contact us. We’re always here to keep you and those you love most safe.