According to a new survey commissioned by Kidde and conducted online by The Harris Poll, 46% of parents with children ages 10-17 plan to have to children staying home alone before or after school and 33% say it will be their child’s first time ever staying home alone. Regardless of when or how parents transition back to work, the majority of schools are planning to welcome back students, and it's the ideal time for parents to brush up on fire safety education with their families.


As a leader of fire safety products and a part of Carrier's Healthy Homes program, Kidde is sharing important information, tips and resources to help parents keep their children fire and CO safe while home alone or unsupervised after school. While many fires may be the result of curious children playing, flames may be sparked by the use of cooking appliances, candles, fireworks or other equipment, according to the NFPA. If a fire starts, it's important to teach children how to appropriately react and how to get help. While Kidde's recent Harris Poll showed that 61 percent of parents with children ages 10-17 have discussed fire safety at home with their kids, the American Red Cross also reports that only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.


To help keep kids safe from the dangers of home fires during this back-to-school season, Kidde compiled a list of resources and activities for parents to educate their kids and shares some easy-to-follow tips to help keep your whole family safe from home fires:

  • Fire Escape Planning: Kids should know how to escape the home in case of an emergency. When escape planning remember the twos: always know two ways out of every room, practice two times per year, and practice two times of the day - daytime and nighttime.

  • Do a Match and Lighter Roundup: Minimize the risk of a home fire by keeping matches and lighters out of reach and teach children to stay away from fire sources like lit candles and stoves.

  • Skip Snacks that Require Cooking: Prep food and after school meals that DO NOT require the use of appliances like toasters or stove tops so that your child has no reason to operate cooking equipment.

  • Get Outside, Stay Outside: Remember, if the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Children, especially those playing with "off limits" appliances may fear their parents' reactions, and/or may hide under beds or in closets, believing that will protect them from fires. Kidde encourages parents to teach children that getting outside is the top priority in case of a fire.

  • Keep Emergency Numbers Close: Whether it's 911 or the number of your local fire department, familiarize your child with emergency numbers in the event of a fire.

  • Smoke Alarm Maintenance: In addition to testing alarms once each week, schedule routine cleaning and maintenance of every smoke alarm according to manufacturer instructions. Every smoke alarm must be replaced at least every 10 years; be sure to check alarm installation dates.

More Fire Safety Resources for Families and Kids