Fire Safety Education – Top Things to Teach Children

Fire safety is one of the most important lessons you will get to learn in your lifetime. Not only are fires extremely dangerous, they can also claim lives and damage properties. Fire, which comes at the least moment you expect, is something that you should always be prepared for. This is why, education fire safety is at the forefront when it comes to teaching children about lessons in safety.

Parents, teachers, and child care providers should all work hand in hand to teach kids regarding the basic principles of fire safety. Here are some of the most important things that kids should learn.

1. Escape Routes

Whether in home or at school, children should know about escape routes. Older children who are mature enough to understand directions should be taught about the nearest fire exits located in the premises where they are usually at. It is also a must that they know the correct ways on how to escape. This can be done through a regular fire drill practice. Teach them to touch a door knob first before opening it so they know if there is fire on the other side. Have them practice crawling during the fire drill as poisonous smoke tends to rise above the air during fire.

2. Fire Safety Equipment

Kids should also know about the basic fire safety equipment including fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, fire ladders, fire hoses, fire blankets, and so on. They do not necessarily have to learn how to use each one of these but it is important for them to know what each one is for. For example, they need to know that smoke alarms give off a loud warning sound to indicate a fire accident. When kids hear this sound, they would know about the fire and they can respond to it the way they have been taught to do so. While children should not be taught to fight fire using fire equipment, they can be taught to use fire blankets to cover themselves while escaping the burning premises.

3. Preventive Measures

The phrase, “do not play with matches” has become a cliché BUT this does not in any way diminish its importance. Kids should be made to realise that playing with matches or any other dangerous item that is flammable or combustible can lead to serious dangers. Tell them the possible consequences of their actions so that they will not attempt to do these things out of curiosity.

4. Emergency Preparedness

Aside from learning about the escape route and knowing the proper ways on how to exit the burning premises, kids should also learn about one important thing on emergency preparedness and that is the Stop, Drop, and Roll method, which you should clearly illustrate to them by doing it yourself so they know what to do in case they or their clothing catch a fire.

Educating kids about fire safety is not that difficult since many of the kids today are smart and advanced in thinking. Just be sure that you do not miss out on anything important so they will be well informed regarding the rudiments of fire protection.

Gun Safes, Parental Education and Child Education Save Young Lives

ONE SHOT! A Child Fatality – Gun Safes and Parent Education Save Lives

As a father, and like the majority of fathers, I wake every day and think about my children, knowing I am going to be able to talk to them, maybe even give them some useful advice, sometimes hear them tell me I’m a dinosaur and above all know they are there to cuddle and love. My greatest fear and I’m sure I speak for all parents who love their children is that one of my kids should pass away before me.

To some, articles on accidental gun deaths and injuries to children and the associated appeals for gun safety is a recurring theme that has been done so often it no longer has any impact for readers. For families that have experienced the tragedy of child gun deaths and injuries this complacency about gun safety can never be tolerated. Nor can it be tolerated until we stop seeing newspaper headlines like the Associated Press article posted on 14th March 2012.

“Death of Washington boy third gun accident in 3 weeks”

It is only March 2012 and here we have the tragic story of a three year old that shot himself in the head with a gun left in his parent’s car. Police said the death of the three year old highlights the need for a greater awareness of firearm safety and for people to secure guns. This was the third accidental child shooting in three weeks two of which have been fatal. The week before a seven year old girl was killed when a sibling found and fired a gun left unattended in a car and a in February an eight year old girl was critically wounded when a gun fired inside the backpack of a 9-year-old boy as he put it on a desk.

One shot from an unsecured firearm and family life is turned upside down. The reverberations from that single fatal shot are not confined to the unimaginable guilt and grief experienced within the four walls of the family home, but has serious psychological, economic, and social consequences on the child’s friends, families, and communities. The occurrence of that one shot can often be traced back to parents incorrectly assuming their child is educated about gun safety, misconceptions about children’s ability to tell the difference between a real gun and toy gun and a belief their child knows not to handle a real gun.

M.S. Hardy in his article, ‘A firearm safety program for children: They just can’t say no’, noted; ‘It is difficult to persuade children and adolescents to stay away from guns or behave responsibly around them. Young children and those in elementary school frequently lack the ability to judge their probable risk of injury, identify hazardous situations, spot ways to prevent injury, or apply safety lessons they have learned in a classroom to the real world.’

In one experiment preschool children and their parents attended a session in which a police officer discussed the dangers of guns and asked children to promise never to touch one. After the session, the children were videotaped playing in a room where toy and real guns were hidden. Despite their promises, the children who had attended the class found and played with real guns at virtually the same rate as children who had received no instruction. Compounding this problem are studies that show 85% of parents who own guns do not practice safe gun storage.

What this type of research does indicate is that gun safety education aimed solely at children is not the answer, but rather identifies the need for a layered approach to gun safety education that not only includes gun safety education for parents but also for friends and acquaintances that have guns in their house. Keeping children safe from gun accidents starts at home. If you have a gun store it unloaded in a gun safe or pistol safe, store ammunition separate to guns and continually reinforce children with the message that guns are not toys and are NOT to be touched.

The Blue Card Ensures Safety Education on Australian Construction Sites

In order to work in construction activities in Australia, it is necessary to complete an Occupational Health and Safety Construction Induction course. On completion, the participant will receive a construction induction card as proof of training. This required certification is commonly known as a construction Blue Card, although the cards are now actually white in color. The new white card serves the same purpose, to promote safety education, and is recognized nationally. The white card allows workers to perform services in all Australian states and territories without having to repeat the program and carry a separate card for each state or territory.

OHS Construction Induction is a process, required under the law, which trains those working in construction in the fundamental principles of construction safety. The object of the course is to attempt to prevent serious construction accidents whenever possible. This is why these inductions may also be known as Construction Safety Training. The OHS Induction Blue / White Card is the proof that persons working in the residential and general construction sectors have undertaken the proper risk management training that is consistent with the National Code of Practice for Induction for Construction Work.

Whatever name is used for the actual training or the proof of certification document, the reason behind the required training program is the same: to be sure that all those involved are adequately educated in basic construction safety principles. This includes those in charge of any work performed, as well as those employees carrying out the work. Project managers, general contractors, subcontractors, employers and those who are self employed must all have the proper certification.

In fact, there are only a few who are exempt from being certified. These would generally be visitors on a construction site, but are allowed only when they are accompanied by a qualifying person that has acquired a proper Induction Card. Another exception would be in a case of someone who is temporally at a site to deliver supplies and is accompanied by a fully inducted person at all times.

Tasmania and the Northern Territory have only recently introduced the requirement for construction induction training and have given existing construction workers time to complete the Nation Standard course, CPCCOHS1001A – Work safely in the construction industry. Except for these specific arrangements all Australian states and territories require people to complete the course before they commence construction work. Citation notices may be issued to those who are without the proper certifications and they will be removed from workplaces.

The Induction Training is provided by an RTO, or Registered Training Organization. The actual training is comprehensive, but is usually condensed into a simple 6 hour program. All participants will be required to complete an assessment at the end of their program in order to demonstrate their competency and understanding of the course material covered.

Some of the topics covered will include Hazard Identification, Incident Reporting, Material Safety Data Sheets and Risk Management. Some of the other subjects are Emergency Procedures, Fire Fighting Equipment and High Risk Construction Activities.

Persons who have a valid Blue Card will not be required to replace them with the new White card. In any event, proof of induction is mandatory and ensures that workers do not undertake construction work without completing the training.