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Stay Safe in the Kitchen: Oven and Stove Top Fire Safety Tips

Stay Safe in the Kitchen: Oven and Stove Top Fire Safety Tips

More than 40% of house fires start in the kitchen. Ovens, stovetops, microwaves, and other electrical appliances are responsible for most kitchen-related fires.

The presence of hot oil and other oily substances make fires in the kitchen more hazardous and dangerous, especially since many don’t realize that the worst possible thing you can do is throw water onto a flaming pan.

As mitigation, restoration, and reconstruction specialists, we have witnessed numerous fires that started in the kitchen and spread into the rest of the house. We strongly advise homeowners to make sure their kitchens are safe and clean and to have fire extinguishers, fire blankets, and fire alarm systems installed to mitigate any fire that starts there.

Follow the tips below to ensure your home’s safety!

Small Steps to Ensure Your Kitchen Is Fire-Proof

Keep Your Kitchen Clean

A clean kitchen is a safe kitchen.

Grease and oily substances can be kindling for fire so keep your stovetop and oven clean. Food remnants in the oven can become hazardous with high temperatures. Greasy stains on your stovetop can heat up and cause a fire to spread quickly.

Keep Children Away from the Kitchen

No matter how much you want to introduce your 3-year-old to the wonders of cooking, you should be extra careful when having children in the kitchen. For maximum safety, install strap locks onto the oven door and stove knob stops to make sure that toddlers can’t fiddle with them.

Supervise Your Cooking

We all do it and it’s wrong: putting a pan or pot to boil, fry, or bake and then walking away for “just a second” to make a phone call, clean up, iron some clothes, watch some TV, or read a book.

Unfortunately, it is easy to lose track of time. You should constantly supervise your pots and pans, especially in the case of frying. Always be alert to the possibility that high temperatures and oil can easily lead to fire!

Don’t Use Your Oven for Storage

It’s the time of the year for the elf to get off the shelf and… find itself inside an oven. A quick Internet search will show you how easy it is for the poor elf to turn into a lump of coal. Even when it’s not the elf who’s on fire, it can be a pot or leftover food. When you lack storage space, it is tempting to put your pans, pots, or even food into the oven. However, while convenient, if you try to preheat your oven with these still inside, you risk a fire. Plastic from pot handles, for example, can melt and burn.

Don’t Leave an Empty Pan on a Hot Burner

After you’ve cooked and drained your pasta, don’t put the empty pot back on the hot burner. At best, you risk destroying your pot. At worst, the bottom of the pan can get so hot that it causes a fire.

Don’t Wear Loose Sleeves

It may come as a surprise how many people get their sleeves burnt while cooking. Don’t wear loose sleeves or any clothing that has tassels or other accessories hanging. These could easily catch fire from your stovetop as they slide over it.

Likewise, don’t leave kitchen tools, tea towels, and other flammable material near a hot stove: they could easily melt or catch fire.

What Should I Do If a Fire Starts in the Kitchen?

Don’t Immediately Pour Water

Our first instinct is to pour water on fire. Yet, in the kitchen, and depending on the fire cause, this may be the worst thing to do. When you pour water on burning oil and grease you are spreading the fire even further, causing more damage and perhaps even an explosion.

Instead, and if your fire is manageable—for instance, a pan or pot that’s caught fire—you should smother the fire to deprive it of oxygen. That could be something as simple as putting on a lid, a fire blanket, or baking soda.

If you can, turn off the oven or the stovetop. This will leave the fire without any further fuel, making it easier to put it out. If the fire started in the oven, keep the oven door closed to stop the fire from spreading.

Call the Fire Department

If the fire is too extensive, close your kitchen door and get out of the house. Remember to close all the doors from the kitchen onwards to stop or slow down the spread of fire throughout the house. Make sure all members of the households are accounted for and out of harm’s way. Call the fire department right away.

If You Smell Gas in Your Kitchen

Never turn on your stovetop or oven if you smell gas in your kitchen. Open the windows as wide as possible and call a professional to identify the problem. Avoid breathing in the gas, close the door, and stay out of the room. Turn off the main shutoff valve, which is usually located just before the gas meter.

Fire Equipment for Your Kitchen

To keep your house safe and make it as fireproof as possible, you should invest in fire equipment.

A well-maintained fire alarm system is the first step toward ensuring your kitchen is safe. Even if there are some false alarms, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

A fire blanket located close to the stovetop can quickly stop a small fire from spreading. A fire blanket is made of strong fireproof material. When you throw the blanket onto a fire, you deprive the flames of oxygen, letting you put out the fire with ease.

A fire extinguisher can also help you put out a fire and spare your home from further damage. However, remember that not all fire extinguishers are suitable for all kinds of fire. An ABC dry powder fire extinguisher can be used on most kinds of fires, including class A, B, C, and electrical fires:

  • A class A fire will burn flammable solids as fuel, e.g. wood and paper.
  • Class B fires burn flammable liquids, e.g. petrol and paint.
  • Class C fires burn flammable gases, e.g. propane and butane.
  • Electrical fires involve electrical equipment.
  • Class F fires will burn cooking oils and fat, e.g. from a deep fat fryer like a chip pan. Because of the extremely high temperatures involved, class F fires require a wet chemical fire extinguisher.

Valley Restoration and Construction Is Available 24/7

If, despite all your best efforts your kitchen catches fire, Valley Restoration and Construction is available 24/7 at 970-964-4437 to mitigate any fire damage and restore your kitchen and home.

Call us now at 970-964-4437 or contact Valley Restoration and Construction. We are available 24/7 online and can take care of basic fire clean-up, soot removal, or total reconstruction and repair of a fire-damaged kitchen.

The HAZMAT Cleanup Process

The HAZMAT Cleanup Process

You only need to watch TV for a few minutes before you come across a crime scene with HAZMAT professionals cleaning up the area from biological substances and other hazardous material. However, crime scenes are hardly the only situation where a HAZMAT cleanup is necessary. And if you think that this type of event only happens in movies and crime series, think again: HAZMAT cleanup incidents happen on a daily basis!

We are surrounded by chemicals and hazardous substances that can leak or spill. And we are often unaware of the number of biological hazards that can damage our health. For instance, for the last two years, HAZMAT cleanup services have been frequently required to disinfect Covid-19-infected buildings, nursing homes, and offices.

Dangerous substances and biological materials can harm you and affect your health. Unfortunately, they can’t be cleaned by simple household cleaning appliances and disinfecting products. Also, most people lack the proper gear or know-how to contain the damage and safely dispose of the unwanted material.

Additionally, there are strict EPA regulations regarding the disposal of such materials in a way that safeguards your safety and the safety of the whole community. For instance, you cannot leave lead or asbestos residue in a common dumpster.

A professional restoration company can help you secure your home and clean it up safely and professionally.

What Are Hazardous Substances and Biohazards?

Although these two terms seem quite similar, they are not.

  • Hazardous substances refer to non-living organisms. Hazardous substances include lead, asbestos, mercury, gas, oil, acids, toxins, propane, or any other non-biological but dangerous substance. These materials can be flammable, corrosive, or toxic and can cause serious damage to people’s health if inhaled or touched.
  • A biohazard, as the name suggests, is derived from living organisms. Biohazards include blood and other bodily fluids, vomit, animal waste, sewage backup, as well as bacteria and viruses.

What Types of Incidents Do HAZMAT Specialists Respond To?

Here at Valley Restoration and Construction, we have responded to asbestos incidents in homes and offices. We are certified as Colorado State General Abatement Contractors for asbestos removal and have been called repeatedly to remove asbestos from houses, offices, and other buildings.

We are also often called for mold infestations. Mold removals can be particularly tricky, as it can be hard to know if your home has dangerous molds. In many cases, only professionals with the right tools, equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and cleaning products can sort out a mold problem.

There are plenty of other incidents where a HAZMAT specialist is required, from rodent infestations—complete with droppings—to gas or oil line spills, sewage backup from a clogged pipe, or even hoarding cleanups after a house has been left vacant for years.

What Does a HAZMAT Cleanup Team Do?

HAZMAT is short for Hazardous Materials. Accordingly, a HAZMAT team is responsible for cleaning up an area that contains hazardous materials, biohazards, or both in a way that is safe for the crew, the environment, and the people who normally occupy the area.

What Does a HAZMAT Cleanup Team Wear?

The team is wearing HAZMAT gear. This includes gloves, personal protective equipment (PPE), chemical spill boots, and even respirators if there are toxins and other materials or biohazards that present a health risk or endanger the cleanup crew’s safety.

Hazmat disinfection | Valley Restoration and Construction

Does a HAZMAT Team Work with Household Cleaning Products?

A HAZMAT team doesn’t use your average cleaning products and paper towels. They have professional cleanup equipment such as special waste containers for hazardous materials with strong bags that seal tightly.

All the cleaning equipment is geared toward heavy use. Also, after the cleanup, a lot of the equipment will be disposed of, including buckets, brushes, brooms, mops, and sponges: none of these can be used in another incident.

The cleaning materials used are industrial strength: aside from bleach, there will be professional deodorizers, cleaners, and disinfectants that work for chemical spills and toxins.

The experts need to ensure that all surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned. That includes ceilings, cracks under the floor, and even the tiniest space under the stairs. They require far-reaching brooms, brushes, and ladders as well as different-sized ones to fit in all spaces.

First, the HAZMAT Team Evaluates the Scene

Just with any other emergency, a cleanup team needs first to go to the scene and evaluate the situation.

This team of professionals will see whether the spill or the chemical or biological hazard is flammable or corrosive. They will also estimate whether it’s toxic to inhale. If there is a danger of fire, they will turn off any electrical appliances (fridge, washer, boiler, or heater) that could start a fire. In the event of sewage backup, they may turn off the water.

The HAZMAT Teams Contains the Damage

The next step is for the HAZMAT experts to contain the damage. It’s far easier to clean up a small area like a room than an entire house.

A professional will make sure all areas are checked for contamination. That means they will check the HVAC system for airborne bacteria. They will also check the fan’s blades, the areas behind appliances, and the space under the carpets to make sure no fluids, bacteria, mold, lead, or asbestos has found its way into the house’s smallest nooks and crannies.

Only after the damage has been fully contained and controlled will the team start to clean the space with professional cleaning products and industrial equipment.

The HAZMAT Team Will Dispose of the Dangerous Material

It is illegal to dispose of hazardous materials and biohazards in a common dumpster. There are strict EPA regulations that must be followed. You removed lead or asbestos from your home because it’s dangerous to your health. It is equally dangerous to other people’s health and should be disposed of according to health safety guidelines.

Your remediation and cleanup contractor will take care of all your cleaning and decontamination needs. The HAZMAT team will package the waste, tightly sealing the content in the right bags and clearly labeling them with their content. You will be seeing the combination of appropriate equipment, experience, and intimate knowledge of EPA guidelines.

The cleanup crew will also handle the proper disposal equipment and dispose of hazardous substances depending on their source. Some materials will go to waste incinerators while others will go to EPA-designated areas to be terminally eliminated.

Valley Restoration and Construction for Asbestos, Radon, and Mold Removal

It doesn’t matter if it is your home or office building that requires professional cleaning: Valley Restoration and Construction will ensure a clean and safe space for your family or colleagues.

If you need HAZMAT cleanup, call us now at 970-964-4437 or contact Valley Restoration and Construction. We are available 24/7 online and will restore your home to its previous condition with minimal inconvenience to you.

Why You Need Both Mitigation and Restoration

Why You Need Both Mitigation and Restoration

When disaster strikes, homeowners often find themselves in a state of shock. Their home has been wrecked by fire or water damage and they need to figure out a way to bring it back to its previous state.

The first crucial step is to mitigate the damage. Emergency mitigation services ensure that there is no further damage to your home. Water is stopped, broken windows are boarded, and the roof is temporarily sealed until repairs can be made.

However, you can’t leave your home patched up like that forever. You need proper restoration: this means replacing the damaged walls and floors, repairing the ceiling, and painting the walls. Only after home restoration is over can your home welcome you in again.

Some home repair companies only go as far as mitigation. To return a damaged building to its previous condition, however, you need a mitigation and reconstruction company that will come to your place, prevent further damage, and finish the rebuilding process for you and your family.

What Is Home Assessment?

After a fire or a flood, your home requires an assessment from professionals who will appraise the damage.

They will look into how much water entered the drywall or what type of water caused the damage: clean, gray, or black water. This will determine the level of disinfection required and how many things can be salvaged.

In case of fire, and after you have followed some basic first steps after a fire to save as much of your property as possible, the mitigation and restoration experts will gauge the extent of the smoke and soot damage and evaluate how much cleaning is necessary.

In both cases, the experts will also help salvage your precious belongings. Items that seem beyond salvation are often easy enough to repair with the right equipment and expertise.

Home assessment goes hand in hand with mitigation. Once the professionals have carefully examined the damage and its causes, they will move on to mitigating it.

What Is Mitigation?

  • Cutting off the source of the water damage such as a burst pipe.
  • Removing damaged furniture and beloMitigation helps stop further damage to your home. If it’s a leaky pipe, the mitigation experts will repair the pipe to stop it from flooding further. If it’s a fire, they will check what the source of the fire was and mitigate the fire and smoke damage. They may also remove damaged items to prevent them from further damage.

Mitigation is necessary because it limits the extent of the damage and makes it easier—and, eventually, cheaper—to restore your home. Leaving your house and belongings as they were will only lead to longer and more costly repairs.

Mitigation encompasses several steps, such as:

  • Minimize water damage by lifting carpets off the floors. This will stop them from soaking up more water. It will also prevent the development of mold.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting the area.
  • Boarding windows if they have been broken from a fire to stop intruders from entering your home and to protect your home from damage from the elements.
  • Removing branches and debris from inside your home.
  • Extracting water from the premises, whether it came from a flood or from firefighting efforts.
  • Cutting off the source of the water damage such as a burst pipe.
  • Removing damaged furniture and belongings to stop them from further damage, e.g. from soaking more water or smoke.
  • Temporarily fixing the roof, usually with tarp, to stop more water from entering your home.

Once these things have been done, the damage has been limited. However, you still can’t live in your home.

The roof is only fixed with temporary materials, your walls are still damaged from water or fire, your wooden floors have soaked up water and are slowly being destroyed, your carpets have been removed and turned into dripping piles, you probably don’t have electricity or water in your home, and your building’s structural integrity may have been compromised.

You now need a restoration and reconstruction company that will take it from there and start repairing your home to bring it to its pre-damaged state.

What Is Home Restoration?

Home restoration is when professional teams of builders, electricians, plumbers, and other experts rebuild your home after a disaster.

During restoration, your home may have to be rebuilt. Depending on the extent and nature of the damage, these experts may perform a score of different tasks, such as the following:

  • Repair, sand, or replace your fire-damaged or water-damaged floors.
  • Dry, repair, and repaint your walls.
  • Dry your belongings and disinfect them after water damage.
  • Clean up and deodorize the house after smoke damage.
  • Eliminate mold, which may hide in the most unexpected places. After water damage, mold can build up in as little as 24 hours.
  • Replace electrical circuits if damaged.
  • Test the moisture and humidity levels under your wooden floors.
  • Redo the ceiling and the roof, or plaster the ceiling.
  • Paint the house or parts of it.

Why Is Mitigation Not Enough?

Mitigation will prevent further damage to your home. However, and while mitigation is a necessary first step for the restoration stage, it is not enough on its own. It’s practically impossible to live in a damaged house that has only gone through the mitigation process.

Restoration will return your property to its original condition. When your house gets damaged from water, fire, or mold, you need a mitigation and restoration company that will handle the project from start to end. Upon completion of the work, they will give you the key to your home, ready for you to live in again.

Call us at 970-964-4437 or contact Valley Restoration and Construction to mitigate any damage from fire, flooding, or mold. We will then restore your home to its previous condition. We are available 24/7 online and will restore your home to its previous condition with minimal inconvenience to you.

Fall Is Here: Tips for Fireplace Safety

Fall Is Here: Tips for Fireplace Safety

There is no mistaking: damp mornings, cool evenings, and rains are here to remind us that fall is upon us.

It’s the moment where we all gather inside and look for cozy afternoons in the living room. For the lucky ones who have a fireplace, it’s the time of year to start firing it up. A roaring fireplace adds warmth to our indoors and is a great gathering place for friends and family.

However, over 25,000 fires are caused by fireplace chimneys every year in the United States alone. These often cause fire and smoke damage and require home restoration.

With a few helpful tips and some careful steps, you can ensure that your fireplace is safe to use throughout fall and winter.

1. Take Care of Your Fireplace

Have Your Fireplace Cleaned by a Professional

Even if you only use your fireplace sparingly, it is good to have a professional clean it once a year. Soot and creosote build up on the chimney. As carbon particles build up on the chimney walls, they act as fire fuel. This is an important danger because a chimney fire can lead to a house fire. Additionally, fire in the chimney can cause the chimney to crack.

Check for Soot Buildup in Your Chimney

Soot buildup blocks the chimney and prevents it from directing the smoke out of the house. More smoke remains in the hearth, which is pushed back into the house as it doesn’t have an escape route. Smoke causes health damage to the lungs and eyes and is dangerous for adults and children alike.

Check for Cracks in Your Chimney

Before lighting up your fireplace, make sure your chimney doesn’t have any cracks. Cracks in the chimney can let smoke escape into your house. If an opening lies in the exposed part of the chimney, water may come in through the cracks.

Open the Damper

When it’s time to fire up your fireplace, check that the damper in your chimney is open. You need to bend and look inside the chimney, ideally with a flashlight. The damper lets smoke out through the chimney and helps air circulate in the fireplace and hearth. If it’s partly closed, even a little, the fireplace may smoke.

2. Use Quality Wood in Your Fireplace

Choose Dry Wood for Your Fireplace

You should only burn seasoned, dry wood, ideally from local suppliers. Dry and well-aged wood will burn slowly without producing too much smoke.

Avoid using wet or green wood as this will both produce a lot of smoke and cause soot to build up on the inside walls of your chimney.

Never Burn Anything Other Than Wood

Your fireplace is made to burn wood. Do not burn plastics, wood treated with varnish, or garbage. All these will generate toxic fumes, which are harmful to your health.

Store Your Wood in a Dry Place

Store your fireplace wood in a dry place. This will keep your logs dry and ready for fall and winter. Make sure your wood logs are not stored close to a fire hazard, for instance, next to the fireplace.

3. Clean Ashes from Your Fireplace

Do Not Leave Ashes

Do not leave ashes and coals on your hearth. They will block the firebox and prevent air from circulating in your fireplace. Too many ashes and coals produce smoke because smoke can’t circulate enough to rise up the chimney.

Dispose of Ashes and Coals

Once you have lit up your fireplace, wait for ashes and coals to cool down completely and dispose of them. Remember that even tiny embers of fire can catch fire if in contact with combustible materials, so it is best to dispose of ashes by placing them in a non-flammable container.

Smoking fireplace | Valley Restoration and Construction

4. Position Logs and Keep an Eye on Your Fire

Place Logs in the Back of the Fireplace

When you start your fire, place a few logs at the back of your fireplace. This way, the smoke will be directed toward the chimney instead of escaping from the front.

Do not overstuff your fireplace with logs. They will block air circulation and temperatures will rise to dangerous levels. Not only can this lead to fire danger, but it can also cause your chimney to crack due to the high temperatures.

Place a Fireplace Screen

When your fire is going, place a fireplace screen or guard in front of the fire to prevent embers and hot ashes from escaping from the fireplace. This will keep your home safe.

5. Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Before fireplace season, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. They are crucial in case of fire and can save your home from extended fire damage—not to mention your lives.

Also, have a fire extinguisher positioned close to your fireplace, in case of fire. It is the easiest way to stop a fire from ravaging your home. The last thing you want is to waste precious time looking for a fire extinguisher in the event of a fire.

Valley Restoration and Construction Are Always Available

Despite your best efforts to take care of your home, sometimes accidents happen. In that case, follow these first steps after a fire to save as much of your property as possible, then call us. Valley Restoration and Construction are here to restore your home and build it up again. The sooner you call us, the less damage your home and belongings will suffer.

Call us at 970-964-4437 or contact Valley Restoration and Construction to mitigate any damage from fire, flooding, or mold. We are available 24/7 online and will restore your home to its previous condition with minimal inconvenience for you.

How to Prepare Your Home Before Leaving

How to Prepare Your Home Before Leaving

Whether you’re going away on holiday for a few weeks or closing up the cottage for the season, you need to make sure your house is safe and ready to stay closed and unattended.

An empty house has many potential hazards that could cause you problems. A burst pipe could cause flooding and water damage. Almost 10,000 fires a year are attributed to plugged appliances like microwaves and ovens that catch fire without being in use.

If you want to feel safe that your home is secure when you leave, here are a few things you can do.

Empty Your Trash

It doesn’t matter if you are leaving for a few days or closing down your summer home for the winter: you should empty your trash.

Fruits and vegetables are breeding grounds for fruit flies and other unpleasant inhabitants. These could grow and create colonies inside your trash and in the house. Make sure you have cleaned your trash from not only the kitchen, but the bedrooms, living room, and even bathrooms. Bugs are tenacious creatures and will take any opportunity to settle in and start a colony. The fewer chances you give them, the better.

Clean Your Fridge

Apart from just being good practice, this is a great opportunity to clean out that crisper drawer that hasn’t been touched in months or to throw away the mustard you’ve been holding onto since 2005.

If you don’t want to do a deep clean, then at a minimum clean your fridge from any perishables—like fruit, vegetables, milk, cheese, and meat. Fresh produce deteriorates fast even in the fridge, and you don’t want to return to find everything covered in mold.

Unplug Your Electronics

If something electronic is plugged into the wall, it has the potential to catch on fire. Take a tour around your house and unplug your washer, dryer, microwave, TV, and any other appliances you have. Not only will this keep your house safe, but it will also save on your electricity bill. Most people aren’t aware of this, but appliances consume electricity if they are plugged in, even when not in use.

Turn Off Water Valves

Turn off the main water valve before leaving your house. If you can’t access it, you can still turn off the water valves that lead to your dishwasher, washing machine, sinks, and toilets. This way, you are making sure no water leakage will occur. It also minimizes the chances of a burst pipe.

Clean Drains and Gutters

This isn’t something homeowners generally think of doing before going away, but it’s a great habit to get into. A sudden storm could cause flooding in your home if the drains and gutters are not cleaned of debris and leaves.

Go around your house and clean them, making sure they are unobstructed. Check also that they are not broken.

Secure Outdoor Furniture

Even if you will be away for only a few days or a couple of weeks, secure your outdoor furniture. Gusts of winds could move them or break them. If you have a patio umbrella, close it in case of strong winds.

Program Your Thermostat

There’s no need to keep your home at a comfortable temperature if you’re not in it!

That being said, it’s a good idea to program your thermostat to keep your house within reasonable temperature limits (no warmer than 82 degrees Fahrenheit in summer, and no cooler than 65 in winter).

If your home is too cold in the winter, it could get damaged from moisture and ice. Too much heat can encourage mold to grow, as well as dry out your hardwood floors and make them lose their beautiful look.

Put Lights on a Timer

This applies mainly to shorter trips away from the home. To trick potential burglars into thinking someone is living there, put the lights on a timer so they turn on automatically during the evening. You can even schedule your timer to turn the lights on and off several times during the evening in different parts of the house, to make it look more realistic.

Check Windows and Doors

Check to make sure your windows and doors close and lock properly. You don’t want any intruders coming into your house through an unsecured back window.

Also, check that these openings seal your home from rain and snow. You do not want to see your hardwood floors flooded during a rainstorm.

Valley Restoration and Construction Are Here for You

No matter how cautious you are about securing your home before going away, accidents and unpredictable events happen. That’s why Valley Restoration and Construction are always a phone call away, no matter the time or day.

Call us at 970-964-4437 or contact Valley Restoration and Construction to mitigate any damage from fire, flooding, or mold. We are available 24/7 online and will restore your home to its previous condition with minimal inconvenience for you.

Fun Games to Teach Children Fire Safety

Fun Games to Teach Children Fire Safety

Fun Games to Teach Children Fire Safety

Being prepared is the best way to protect your family. When it comes to children, parents need to ensure the little ones have a clear idea of how to react in case of fire.

Teaching children about fire safety is the best way to prepare them in case of an emergency. It’s also the most productive way to protect them when a fire emergency happens.

Parents can teach their children two things: how not to cause a fire and how to exit your home if there is a fire. Both lessons are crucial to their safety.

This article explains the things you need to teach your children and suggests some fun ways to do this.

Teach Children about Fire

Not everything is a game, of course. Parents can explain to children what fire is and how it is caused. If your children are old enough, you can explain the fire triangle, i.e. that fires require heat, oxygen, and fuel to start and burn.

Toddlers, on the other hand, should be simply taught not to play with matches, candles, and lighters. It is essential to explain to children in simple words how fires start and how they can destroy their house and hurt them.

When to Put out a Fire

Older children can learn how to put out a fire using a fire blanket or even a fire extinguisher once they have alerted you. This, in itself, can be great fun for kids but whether you should allow it or not depends on the child. As a parent, you will know the right age and if the child is ready to handle such a responsibility or should simply head out as fast as possible.

Even if you don’t teach them how to put out a fire, you should stress the need to avoid at all costs throwing water on fires, especially electrical ones and oil-based ones like a burning pan, as this can result in serious injury and even death.

Organize Your Escape Routes in Case of Fire

Once you have described the dangers and causes of fire to your children, you should move on to how they should protect themselves in case of fire.

The first thing to discuss is your escape routes. You must establish escape plans and routes from every room in your home, including the kitchen and the living room.

You should consider alternative routes: think of escape plans from the window if the height is not a problem. Ideally, and depending on the house’s layout, you should establish two ways out of each room, in case one escape route is blocked or too dangerous.

Walk through your home with your children and plan your escape. To make it less of a lesson and more of an adventure, pretend it is some sort of game. Pretend, for example, that a volcano has erupted in the kitchen, and now they have to find their path outdoors before the lava gets them.

Get Outside Quickly and Safely

Tell your children that the foremost thing they must remember is to get out as fast as possible. They shouldn’t carry anything with them: explain to them that firefighters will take care of their belongings and their precious teddy will be just fine.

No matter how much we love our pets, tell your children that losing time looking for their cat or dog can cost them their lives. Gently explain to them that the firefighters will save their pets because they know how to enter a fire and look for pets.

Turn this into a game by asking them where they think their pet escaped from. Make it more fun by using imaginative routes like A/C ducts or vents.

Feel Your Way out of Your Home

Our eyes sting in the presence of smoke. Teach your children how they can feel their way out of the house by touching things and furniture and keeping their eyes closed.

Prepare a game and have them memorize the setting of the furniture and other items so that they have a clear image in their mind of what the interior of your home feels like.

You can easily turn this into a fun game by turning it into a blindfold obstacle course.

Teach Children Fire Safety through Games | Valley Restoration and Construction

Set a Meeting Point Outside

Whether it’s the garden gate or the sidewalk, define the meeting point where the whole family gathers in case of emergency. Tell your children that once they get out of the house, they should reach the meeting point and wait there for the whole family to gather.

Teach Your Children Not to Hide

In case your children have not managed to find their escape route, teach them not to hide under the bed or in the closet. This will make it harder for firefighters to locate them. Instead, tell them to stand in front of the window or in some obvious place where they will be highly visible and easily reachable.

As a game, ask them to find the most visible part of their room and pretend you can’t see them until they reach it.

Crawling

Most fire victims die due to smoke inhalation. Teach your children that they should crawl out in case of fire. This will save them from smoke suffocation and greatly improve their ability to get safely outside.

Present it as a game and run fire drills where you ask them to crawl through the kitchen or the living room to teach them how important this is.

Stop, Drop, Roll

Even if their clothes catch fire, your children can be safe if you teach them to “stop, drop, and roll.”

If a child becomes aware that her clothes are on fire, show her how to stop, drop on the floor, protect her face with her hands, and roll over and over again, pretty much like a dog, to stop the oxygen supply to the fire. Since this is what a dog might do, you can present this in a light, playful manner, instructing them to “play the dog.”

Doors, Handles, and Smoke

Show your children how to become perceptive of fire risks.

If smoke is coming from under the door, they shouldn’t open it: it means the corridor is filled with smoke. Instead, they should choose the alternative escape route you have organized.

Remind them to check the door handle: if it’s too hot, they shouldn’t open it, opting instead for an alternative plan.

This can be made more fun as a version of a hot and cold game. The family will yell “hot” as the child gets near a hot object like a door handle and “cold” as they move away from it until the child identifies it.

Prepare Your Children for Safety from Fire

Teaching your children what to do in case of fire is one of the best ways of keeping them safe. Spend a few afternoons explaining to them about fire and how they can keep safe. If you can do this through some fun games, even better!

Most importantly, teach them that all that matters in case of fire is that everyone is safe and well. Houses can be rebuilt, particularly with the help of a professional restoration company like Valley Restoration and Construction.

If you need the help of a professional restoration and construction company, we are available 24/7 online and at 970-964-4437.