Area fire departments are hoping to better educate children on how to respond during a house fire.
Ernesto Martinez is a firefighter and a father. After his children slept through WISC-TV's test of their smoke alarm, he's now convinced their family's fire plan will be changing.
"The best thing to do is have a plan and put it together as a family and practice it as a family That practice piece is really, really important, because then children start to link the action and the sound all together and then they begin to know what it is they would do in the event of a fire," said Martinez.
But Madison Fire Department Community Education Officer Lori Wirth said preparing children for a fire goes beyond the smoke alarm.
Wirth says fire educators are re-thinking what they teach children about fire. It seems children now know the traditional "Stop Drop and Roll" rule -- but that's often all they remember.
"But we really need to take it past stop, drop and roll now because it's almost the answer to any question you ask about fire safety. So if we ask a child, 'What do you do if there's a fire in your house?' many times they'll answer 'Stop, drop and roll," Wirth said.
Wirth said there have even been cases where children have rolled into their closet or under their bed during a fire instead of getting out.
"The first thing we want children to do is get out and stay out. And that's what we're trying to make our number one rule for fire safety," Wirth said.
Another problem is that many times children are scared of the sight of firefighters in full uniform.
There have been cases across the country where children have been found too late after hiding from firefighters there to save them, WISC-TV reported.
"So the final piece of the puzzle is to remind children that they must never hide from a firefighter, that in fact they must wave their arms and let a firefighter know where they are," said Wirth.
Fire educators say they are now working to de-sensitize children to the sight and sound of the fire fighting-equipment so it's not so scary.
Experts also recommend that your family create an escape plan for a fire and then practice that plan until children can go through it in their sleep.
- May 5, 2006: Experts Rate Alternative Smoke Alarms
- May 5, 2006: Most Children Sleep Through Fire Alarms
- May 5, 2006: Vocal Smoke Alarm Put To The Test
- May 5, 2006: Smoke Alarms Won't Wake Most Children
- May 5, 2006: Sounding The Alarm: Will Your Kids Wake Up?
Copyright 2006 by Channel 3000. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.