City Services

Fire Safety for Children

The Facts:

Children are particularly vulnerable to burns and fire deaths. To prevent fire and burn injuries from affecting your preschooler, teach them the following fire and life safety lessons.

  • Tell a grown-up when you find matches and lighters
  • Practice an escape plan
  • Crawl low, under smoke
  • Cool a burn
  • Stop, Drop, and Roll

Teaching these lessons has proven to save lives. Together, we can make a difference.

Tell a Grown-up when you find Matches and Lighters

Matches and lighters are one of the leading causes of fire deaths among young children. Most children are fascinated with fire and try to imitate adult behaviour.

Teaching tips:

  • Lighters and matches are tools for grown-ups only, not toys for children.
  • Keep lighters and matches stored safely out of reach and out of sight in a locked container.
  • Teach children to tell a grown-up when they find matches and lighters. They should not touch them.
  • Remind smokers to keep matches and lighters safely out of reach.
  • Continuous supervision of young children is the best prevention.

Crawl Low Under Smoke

In a fire, smoke containing toxic gases and heat rises toward the ceiling. This means the cleanest air is closest to the floor.

Teaching tips:

  • Teach children to use an alternate route if they encounter smoke or flames during their escape.
  • If they must escape through smoke, children should crawl on their hands and knees staying below the smoke where the air is easier to breathe.


Everyone can learn that if their clothes catch on fire,

STOP where you are, do not run.

DROP immediately to the ground and cover your face with your hands.

ROLL over and over to smother the flames.

Practice an Escape Plan

Young children often die in fires because they try to hide from smoke or flames. These needless deaths may easily be prevented by developing a home escape plan.

Teaching tips:

  • Teach children that a smoke alarm warns them of fire or smoke and when they hear the sound, they should start their home escape plan.
  • As a family, develop a home escape plan which includes two ways out of every room
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows your family meeting place outside of your home.
  • Practice your plan by sounding the smoke alarm and following your escape routes to your outside meeting place
  • Remind children never to go back inside until a parent or firefighter says it's "OK" Once safely outside, call 911 from a neighbours house.

Cool a Burn

Running cool water over a burn immediately will reduce its severity.

Teaching tips:

  • Children should be taught to always tell a grown-up if they are burned.
  • Cool the burn by placing it under cool water for 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Never use ice, ointments, or butter on a burn. This traps the heat inside and makes the burn worse.