As a father of three young children, Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s (KFRS) on-call firefighter, Jason Gilliam works hard to keep his family safe. The home is a place that provides a safe haven but he’s only too aware that a fire can be one of the most dangerous situations his young family could be faced with.
This has led Jason and his five-year-old daughter Leah to put together a short film sharing safety tips to help other families stay safe.
Jason, who has worked for KFRS at Swanley fire station for the last 10 years, explains: “Fire safety and prevention should be a top priority in every home and children need to know what to do if there is a fire.
“Working smoke alarms are the one essential piece of life-saving equipment that every home should have, but they are of no use if they don’t work. Leah and her younger brother Luke, help me check ours regularly, so they know what they will sound like, should they go off in an emergency. We make a bit of a game of it but it’s also the ideal time to talk about what we’d do if there was a fire.
“The kids practice shouting to the rest of the family and getting out of the house quickly and safely. We also have a family meeting place outside our home; yours could be a neighbour’s house or a tree. Leah knows how to phone 999, ask for the fire service and can give them her address - this would help KFRS get to us even quicker in the event of an emergency. We go over our plan regularly to make sure the children remember and understand everything – we make it fun but it really is essential – do your family know what to do?”
Five-year-old Leah said: “We have made this film to help other families keep safe. Please help share it so we can see how far it travels and how many people see it.”
KFRS offers a range of safety advice, if you have a child under the age of 5 living in your home we can arrange a home safety visit and where necessary fit working smoke alarms – all our services are free of charge and designed to keep you and your family safe from fire in your home. Speak to one of our home safety advisors today - call freephone, or email us. All our services are free of charge.