Who’s responsibility is it to Teach Your Teen Fire Safety Practices before Leaving home to Join University?
If as a parent (like me) you have proactively protected and educated your child from birth to skillfully navigate away from any kind of life threatening danger and potential daily hazard, congratulations – job well done, however you may be reading this and feel mildly phased, when does it end, does it end?
Undoubtedly my own parents still feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility towards me despite the fact I am closer to drawing a pension than my first experience as a novice 16 year old motor cyclist on the UK roads – Endless unlimited access to information has inspired a generation of parents/carers to over protect and in many cases even carefully manage off-springs safety with meticulous detail and skills even the most proficient project planner would be grateful for – from crossing the road to avoid playing with matches or even how to behave around fire works, but what happens when our little darlings leave home for the first time, on the worldly adventure which is University…..?
There is a mild assumption that all parents/carers have at some stage or another reviewed fire safety facts and tips in mild preparation for any kind of event of a fire emergency in your home. True?
Or does the statement hold an element of unrealistic expectation? As a child I recall my own brief encounter with fire as I watched my mother dance around the kitchen with a flaming tea towel, caused by removing burning sausages from a grill that hadn’t been cleaned for a few days, the lingerings of yesterdays lamb chop fat upon it tipped the grill to spark and ignite. No harm was done, the fire was rapidly extinguished in the sink, food in the bin and doors flapped rapidly in the days before smoke alarms. – So what did little me watching on learn from this?
The answer at that time, not a lot – other than it was briefly very scary. You see I was unable to correlate the cause and effect of the fire and the opportunity to teach my brother and I had been missed.
Once I found myself as a parent to a teenager, I ensured from a relatively young age she was taught key life skills and safety tips, which were reiterated, until they became second nature to her. Simple messages, including being cautious of certain plastics and never placing metal in a microwave, ensuring tea towels and kitchen towel are placed away from the cooking hob, never leaving boiling, or grilling foods unattended and so it goes on.
Though the best way to prevent fire is to practice fire safety and make sure fire doesn’t break out in the first place. This means keeping children from a young age aware of all potential hazards that can happen in your home and developing an ability in them to be able to take the best course of action independently with little or no supervision. An ideal scenario for all students and adults living independently for the first time.
Many parents show their children how to effectively escape from a building in the event of an emergency. They show them how to use windows and doors to escape from a room, many also practice their escape plan with them regularly. Think about it, what would you do in the event of a fire? imagine the scenario daytime and night time – with a room full of toxic black smoke and zero visibility…..
Will your child or teen be able to protect themselves on an unfamiliar ground, such as a new college or University? Do you think your young adult needs to know what protocol to take in an event of fire when they are in an unfamiliar place? What should they do when there is a fire alarm?
The importance of teaching children, teens and young adults about fire safety can never be overemphasized.
If your teen is preparing for college or university, you need to empower them with the skills of what to do if a fire breaks out. I recently questioned over 100 students from eight UK universities, worryingly 68% said they had not been offered fire safety training and would’t really know what to do in the event of a fire.
We would like to think almost all universities or student accommodation providers conduct thorough fire safety courses, on par with the compliance led training to employees, the reality is and despite best intentions this is largely not the case. There is a void a gap if you will, this may come down to many factors, funding such training could be one, it would be easy to become bogged down with this debate – who’s responsibility is it? If multiple fire alarms are disrupting the accommodation halls your teen is staying in or preventable fires are taking place – without doubt as parents and carers you will hear about it, especially if it is a persistent and frequent occurrence.
As young adults, surely the responsibility lies with the students themselves?
The responsibility of keeping your teen updated with the latest fire safety tips rests on your shoulders and theirs
When children are raised in an environment where they have been regularly instructed about the dangers of fire, they take it seriously. They respect and value the fire safety course (should they receive one) from their accommodation provider or university, this ethic will stand them in good stead for their life as an employee or leader.
If you happen to ask any teacher or a professor, they will tell you, there are always some children who won’t take fire safety courses seriously. Often because they have never been taught by their parents about the dangers of fire.
It’s a duty of parents to teach their children the real dangers of fire and how their timely action can keep them safe and can even reduce any possibility of future accidents and tragedies.
Keep reading our blog as we bring more information and innovation on how you can raise your children and teens to be smart when it comes to fire safety practices and actionable steps you can take to prepare and empower them for their adventures into adulthood.
People First Safety Always