• Maxine Knight

Toddler Training: Fire safety!

Last week I tried to teach my 4-year-old son about fire safety.

My objective... to ensure he had an escape route in the event a fire broke out in the house.

It didn't go so well...

So excited was I about teaching my son that, (error 1) I forgot to do my research.

Instead, my research was replaced with the fantasy of us learning about the dangers of fire whilst he intently listened.

Error 2. I had forgotten that my son is 4 and only has two settings.

Running... and asleep.

I had explained to him that when a fire broke out, his main objective was to get out of the house as safely as possible, aiming for the front door at every opportunity.

I then went onto explain that there may be a scenario where we may have to throw a mattress out the window and jump the 8ft distance to safety, but that this was only if myself or my husband was there.

Then it was onto QUIZ TIME!

Me: What do you do if there is a fire next door in mummy and daddy's room?

Son: Jump from the window.

Me: Do you think there might be a better route? Like the front door?

Son: ...no.

Me: Ooookay... What do you do if someone has left the oven on?

Son: Jump from the window.

Me: ...

I mentioned jumping from the window ONE TIME!

So I did a rethink, researched and applied a different approach.

He's 4, and for some reason I had gotten my training mixed up with full fire-fighter service.

So first, I introduced him to the fire alarms. It was time to test them anyway, so this was the perfect opportunity.

Next, I showed him this super useful video, it helped him visualise the situation.

Then, we practised the 3 scenarios in the video, and what a marked difference this new approach made.

Yeah every now and then he thinks the answer is to leap through the window, but we swapped that out with shouting "HELP FIRE" instead, and this seems to have worked really well.

So remember:

  • bite sized chunks

  • make it fun and

  • repetition, repetition, repetition.

We'll be doing our drills at least once a month.

Good luck !

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