Fireworks! Fourth of July is coming up and my favorite thing to do is light off fireworks! Let’s be honest fireworks are way fun but also can be very dangerous by starting fires, going off wrong, or just simple as sparklers and burning our fingers. This week we will go over Summer Science Fire Fighting.
Yes this isn’t a huge science experiment week but there is a fun experiment to do with your kids to teach them how to put out fires and teach them more about firefighters and their jobs while also sharing a few tips on how to stay safe not only with your fourth of July celebration but also in your everyday lives.
With this post I asked help from my own hero, my dad. My dad has been a firefighter for 23 years and has several tips on how to help you stay safe. It is so important to continually teach your kids about fire safety and what to do in the case of a fire. Also a fun activity to do with your kids this summer is to go explore a fire station and meet some firefighters and see what they do.
A big life saver for you and your family is to have a plan. My dad said that he sees all the time families who are faced in dangerous situations and have no plan which causes stress for everyone especially scared little kids. Making a plan like where to meet after, how to get out, what to do, can help ease the stress and help you get to safety faster, practice this plan with your family regularly so they know what to do.
Having a meeting spot helps reassure kids when they get out so they know what to do and where to go to meet back up with their family. After getting out of a burning house even just a small little kitchen fire make sure your kids know where to meet and be safe. Some people have great neighbors across the street, your mail box, or someplace away from danger and well known for your family. Doesn’t have to be far just away from the immediate danger where everyone can get to.
Do you and your kids know how to get out? If you are in the basement do your kids know how to escape? Practice different ways to get out and get safe with your kids. Teach them about feeling the doors to make sure they are not hot, also teach them to crawl under smoke. Make sure to also teach your kids not to hide from firefighters, that if there is a fire they need to get out or if they are trapped they need to call out for help so someone can find them. If you have a two story house make sure they have some escape plan if they can’t get down the stairs. Several stores like Lowe’s has ladders you can easily store to escape in such a situation.
Do you have working smoke detectors? This may seem so simple to people but working smoke detectors are a simple way to protect your family. Make sure your smoke detectors are also working and check them on a regular basis like every year during spring cleaning. There are now smoke detectors with carbon dioxide detectors in them do not get these! I know it may seem smart but these combinations detectors have more false alarms than they are worth. Firefighters go on several calls with these and 9 out of 10 times it is usually a false alarm. Get some smoke detectors through your house and then separate carbon dioxide detectors with a screen reading.
Now those of you with older kids who are starting to cook or even if your younger kids are helping you cook teach them different ways to fight a small kitchen fire (this is where our experiment comes in). My dad said if more people knew ways to put out a small kitchen fire there would be a lot less house fires. A few ways of fighting a kitchen fire are baking soda, smothering it, or a fire extinguisher. Teach your kids how to use these simple ways to fight a small fire and make sure you are prepared with at least two of these on hand. Also remind them that if it is too big or they are not sure to always call 911 and get out.
Firework safety. For those of you lighting off fireworks this summer remember to stay safe. Keep some water close by, or even a fire extinguisher, and teach your kids proper ways of using fireworks. “We shouldn’t fear fire or fireworks but we need to respect them”, my dad told me. Also always have adult supervision when lighting off fireworks. As a kid I always lit off fireworks with my dad but he made me always follow some basic rules. Don’t ever point fireworks at anyone, never look into a firework to see if it’s a dud or not, keep a safe distance, and never play around with fireworks. With the bigger fireworks and more available fireworks we now have make sure you are prepared and stabilize fireworks if they are big aerials and if there are high winds light them off a different night.
Sparklers cause more injuries than most fireworks because our hands are right by the fire. Using something as simple as a plastic cup can help protect your little ones hands from getting burnt.
While discussing this with my dad he said the most important thing with fireworks and fire is to teach your kids to respect it, know that it can kill you but also its uses in our everyday lives.
Ever wonder how firefighters fight the huge forest fires? Well they use chemicals that help restrict the oxygen in the air kind of like vinegar and baking soda.
- Baking soda
- Place your candle in a bowl. I placed mine on a little stand because it was so small but make sure it doesn’t go taller than your bowl.
- Sprinkle some baking soda around the base of your candle and with the help of your little ones light the candle.
- Explain that in a forest fire this fire would spread to all the trees and grass and burn everything. But if we suffocate it by taking away the oxygen in the air then it won’t burn.
- Now pour in some vinegar into the baking soda. The light will go out.
- Now try lighting the candle again. The flame will go out!
With the fourth of July let’s keep our hands safe. All you need is a plastic cup and of course your awesome sparklers!
- Carefully poke the sparkler into the cup so the handle is left inside the cup where your (or you) can hold safely.
- Light the sparkler!
Fire Safety Tips for Kids
Smoke Detectors Save Lives – Check them regularly
Stop, Drop, and Roll
Don’t Play with Matches or Lighters
Don’t hide from the Fire
Stay Low and Crawl
Leave Toys Behind
Have a Family plan and Practice it