Talking about fires can be scary because no one likes to think about people getting hurt or their things getting burned. But you can feel less worried if you are prepared. Know Your Way Out An escape plan can help every member of a family get out of a burning house. The idea is to get outside quickly and safely. Smoke from a fire can make it hard to see where things are, so it’s important to learn and remember the different ways out of your home. It’s possible one way out could be blocked by fire or smoke, so you’ll want to know where other ones are. Safety Steps
If you’re in a room with the door closed when the fire breaks out, you need to take a few extra steps: * Check to see if there’s heat or smoke coming in the cracks around the door. (You’re checking to see if there’s fire on the other side. ) * If you see smoke coming under the door — don’t open the door! * If you don’t see smoke — touch the door. If the door is hot or very warm — don’t open the door! * If you don’t see smoke — and the door is not hot — then use your fingers to lightly touch the doorknob. If the doorknob is hot or very warm — don’t open the door!
If the doorknob feels cool, and you can’t see any smoke around the door, you can open the door very carefully and slowly. When you open the door, if you feel a burst of heat, or smoke pours into the room, quickly shut the door and make sure it is really closed. If there’s no smoke or heat when you open the door, go toward your escape route exit. Stay Low If you can see smoke in the house, stay low to the ground as you make your way to the exit. In a fire, smoke and poisonous air hurt more people than the actual flames do. You’ll breathe less smoke if you stay close to the ground.
Smoke naturally rises, so if there is smoke while you’re using your escape route, staying low means you can crawl under most of it. You should unlock the windows, open them. Sometimes, families even have collapsible rescue ladders that can be used to escape from upper floors of a house Once you’re out, do not go back in for anything. You can tell the fire rescue people about any person that were left behind and they may be able to help. What if You Can’t Get Out Right Away? If you can’t get out fast, because fire or smoke is blocking an escape route, you can yell for help from an open window or call if you have a phone with you.
Even if you’re scared, never hide under the bed or in a closet. Then, firefighters will have a hard time finding you. The sooner they find you, the sooner you both can get out. If you can grab a piece of clothing or a towel, wet it first and place it over your mouth to keep from breathing in the smoke. If Your Clothes Catch Fire A person’s clothes could catch fire during a fire or by accident, like if you step too close to a candle. If this happens, don’t run! Instead, stop, drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands, and roll. This will cut off the air and put out the flames.
An easy way to remember this is: Stop, Drop, and Roll Preventing Fires Every year, kids of all ages start over 35,000 fires that hurt people and damage property. You can do your part to prevent fires by never playing with matches, lighters, and other fire sources. Also stay away from fireplaces, candles, and stoves. Guidance on fire safety How do fires start at work? Fires cannot occur without a source of ignition. You should identify sources of ignition and control their potential to start a fire. Examples are: Cigarettes; Electrical equipment; Machinery; Matches / lighters; Hot work (welding, grinding etc);
Heating appliances. With the obvious exception of willful fireraising (arson), most fires can be prevented by employees taking care whilst at work. It is worth making the effort! All large fires start as small fires or even sparks but the consequences can be personal, financial and environmental disaster. Fire prevention There are several easy ways in which you can ensure a safe working environment for yourself and your colleagues: 1. Do not smoke in your workplace. The University of St Andrews has prohibited smoking in all areas other than those designated as smoking zones. 2.
Report fire hazards such as worn electrical cables and loose wiring or damaged plugs and wall sockets immediately. 3. Make sure the general housekeeping at your workplace is of a high standard. Do not allow the build up of rubbish or other combustible material in your work area, corridors or stair enclosures as this is fuel for fire and may also create obstructions to escape routes. 4. Do not have fabric or other readily combustible material near electric fires or portable gas heaters. 5. Turn off electrical equipment when not in use. Unplug it from the wall socket if possible. 6. Do not leave hot plates or containers e. g. rying pans, unattended when in use. 7. Ensure safe storage of gas cylinders. Means of escape Means of escape is the term used to describe your exit route and the associated fire safety measures i. e. fire doors, emergency lighting, fire call points, hosereels and fire extinguishers, fire action notices and exit route signs. The width of corridors and doors are designed to allow a pre-determined number of occupants to escape safely in an emergency. Any obstruction in these areas reduces the passage of people and may lead to casualties. Fire doors are designed to hold back smoke and flames to allow people to escape safely.
Once the fire is contained behind a closed door everyone should be able to reach a place of safety. You should therefore ensure that these doors are NEVER NORMALLY propped open. Fire doors should have a circular blue sign on them and a self-closing mechanism which allows the door to return to a fully closed position after each use. Ensuring fire doors are closed at night is very important. There are less people around and fire can grow and spread undetected at night easier than during the day. Statistics show there are more serious fires at night than during daylight hours. PLEASE BE DILIGENT.
IT’S YOUR LIFE ! Fire routine Events can move rapidly when a fire occurs so you must know your fire routine before a fire breaks out i. e. what to do if the fire alarm sounds and what to do if you discover a fire. If you discover a fire you should: 1. Sound the alarm by breaking the nearest glass fire call point. This will set off the building fire alarm. You or someone else must then phone 9-999 (or 999 from phones outwith the University) and request the attendance of the Fire Service. The sounding of a building fire alarm does not mean the Fire Service are automatically alerted.
In fact this is not the case in most instances so you must assume the alarm has not alerted the Fire Service and you should make the emergency call EVERY TIME. 2. Only fight the fire if you can do so without endangering yourself or others – a water extinguisher can throw a jet of water up to 6 metres. If one extinguisher does not put the fire out, GET OUT AND CLOSE THE DOOR BEHIND YOU AND STAY OUT UNTIL TOLD BY A FIRE SERVICE OFFICER IT IS SAFE TO RETURN. 3. Do not fight a fire which is large and/or spreading or if you are unsure of the type of extinguisher to use on the fire.
If you hear the fire alarm you should: 1. Leave your place of work, closing windows and doors behind you if this can be done quickly. 2. Follow your nearest exit route to the agreed place of safety/assembly point and stay there until authorized to return by a Fire Officer. 3. If your usual exit route is blocked by smoke, STOP – CHANGE DIRECTION – FIND AN ALTERNATIVE EXIT ROUTE. You should still muster at the normal assembly point for your workplace. 4. Do not use lifts to exit the building. Their movement assists fire travel and they may stop suddenly if there is a power failure.
They may also take you to the scene of the fire. Do not wait for a lift to come as in many cases they will automatically go to the ground floor when the alarm activates and will stay there. Use the stairs at all times. Use of firefighting equipment If you discover a fire, any attempt to extinguish it must only be made once the fire alarm has been activated, the Fire Service called and you know which fire extinguisher to use. All new extinguishers must conform to the British Standard BS EN 3, which means that they will have a red body and icons to indicate the types of fire they can be used on.
Older extinguishers are colour coded and have instructions for use written on the label. The older extinguishers will only be removed when they have reached the end of their useful life and are coloured RED – water, BLACK – CO2, CREAM – foam, BLUE – dry powder. The new fire extinguishers all have a RED body but can also have some colour coding band or coloured cylinder valve which relates to the old colour coding. The icons are as follows: Indicates the extinguisher is suitable for use on Class A fires e. g. wood, paper etc. , known as carbonaceous materials.
Indicates the extinguisher is suitable for use on Class B fires e. g. flammable liquids. Indicates the extinguisher is suitable for for use on Class C fires e. g. flammable gases (Do NOT use an extinguisher on a flammable gas fire until the gas supply has been switched off). Indicates the extinguisher is suitable for use on Electrical Fires. Water – Completely RED body. Use on paper, cardboard, wood and clothes BUT NEVER ON ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT OR FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS. Can hit a target up to 6 metres distant. Dry Powder – Red body (possibly with blue somewhere on the upper half of the extinguisher).
Effective on most types of fire but have a good VACUUM CLEANER handy after use. Particularly effective on flammable liquid and metal fires. Carbon Dioxide – Red body (possibly with black somewhere on the upper half of the extinguisher). Effective on flammable liquid and particularly effective on electrical fires. Very noisy when in use and do not hold the discharge horn as it will freeze during use and will burn your hand. Can hit a target up to 2 metres distant. Foam – Red body (possibly with cream somewhere on the upper half of the extinguisher). Specialist use on flammable liquids and also effective on carbonaceous fires.
Some training required to use effectively. Can hit a target up to 4 metres distant. Hose Reels – Can be either automatic or manual in operation. If the reel is a manual type, remember to turn on the valve before pulling the reel off the drum. To operate simply twist the grip at the nozzle. There is an unlimited supply of water to the hose reel. Fire Blanket – Effective at smothering a fire and protecting you from heat and flames. To operate, remove from container and unfold. Ensure you grip the blanket in such a way that your hands are inside the fold.
Hold the blanket in front of you and lay it over the burning material, do not throw the blanket. When using an extinguisher think PASS: Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep. PULL – out the locking pin or retaining clip; AIM – the nozzle or horn at the base of the fire; SQUEEZE – the handle of the lever; SWEEP – from side to side across the base of the fire. Remember, putting water on a fire creates steam and steam burns can be fatal. Crouching helps you keep clear of any smoke and avoid heat from the flames and steam, so crouch when using water on a fire. Do NOT fight a fire if: 1.
It is too big with flames reaching the ceiling. 2. Any hazardous materials are involved. 3. There is any risk of your personal safety and/or escape route being cut off either by fire or smoke. 4. You have not received appropriate training and are not confident in the use of fire extinguishers. FIRE EXTINGUISHERS ARE FIRST AID DEVICES ONLY AND ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE FIRE SERVICE. First-aid Injuries sustained in a fire may include burns and breathing problems caused by smoke inhalation. These can be life threatening. Access to first-aiders / appointed persons is provided in all workplaces.
In the event that no first-aider is available the following action is recommended: An ambulance should be called so dial 9-999 immediately or get someone else to phone and confirm that this has been done. 1. Assess the situation. Only approach the casualty if it is safe to do so. 2. Consider the possible risks to your own safety from flames, smoke and toxic fumes particularly if you are not wearing protective equipment. 3. Stay calm and reassure the casualty. If they appear to be unconscious shout at them and carefully shake the casualty’s shoulder to provoke a response. 4.
Assess their airway, breathing and circulation and if necessary begin to resuscitate the casualty if trained to do so. Serious burns If a burn is larger than a 2p piece, if it looks blistered and raw, waxy or charred then it is serious and requires immediate medical attention by a medical / nurse practitioner. The first-aid treatment of burns is: Check that the area is safe and then phone 9-999. 1. Reassure the casualty, make them comfortable as possible and encourage them to lie down and raise their feet. 2. Pour copious amounts of cold water over the burn or immerse in cold water i. e. ucket/bath for at least 10 minutes. 3. Remove any jewellery, watch or clothing from the affected area – unless it is sticking to the skin, in which case leave it. 4. Cover the burn with clean non-fluffy material to protect from infection e. g. a clean plastic bag, cling film or first aid dressing. 5. If the casualty loses consciousness assess the airway, breathing and circulation and if necessary undertake resuscitation if trained to do so. * NEVER TOUCH THE INJURED AREA * NEVER BURST BLISTERS * DO NOT APPLY LOTIONS, OINTMENTS OR CREAMS. Inhalation of fumes Smoke may contain toxic gases and can be lethal if inhaled.
Do not put your own life at risk by entering a smoke filled area, as rescuers without protective equipment are likely to add to the casualty list. Signs of smoke inhalation include noisy distressed breathing, choking, coughing, impaired consciousness leading to unconsciousness and possible dark smoke stains around the mouth and nose. You should: If it is safe to do so, move the casualty to fresh air. 1. If unconscious check the breathing and pulse and be prepared to resuscitate if trained to do so. 2. Even if conscious, give oxygen if it is available and you have been trained in its use. 3.
Monitor breathing, pulse and level of response until the ambulance or Fire Service arrive. Is there a fire behind this door? If you think there may be a fire behind a closed door do the following checks before attempting to open the door. Have an extinguisher or other fire fighting equipment available. Test the door for heat by running the back of your hand against the door from top to bottom. If it is cool to touch, check the door handle in the same way as heat will conduct readily through some door handles. If the door handle is hot DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. There is a fire on the other side of the door.
If this door leads to your exit route find an alternative route and close doors behind you. If it is cool open the door slowly holding the handle tightly. If there has been a fire on the other side of the door and it has burned out due to a lack of oxygen, the act of opening the door may lead to an inrush of oxygen at a terrific rate. You must shut the door quickly if you sense or hear this happening. If you do not have an alternative route out, use clothing or any other items to block the bottom of the door to help prevent smoke ingress , open a window and shout loudly for help.
If there is a phone in the room, dial 9-999 and inform the Fire Service of your exact location within the building. Going through smoke If you are caught in a smoke filled atmosphere, try not to panic. Smoke builds from the ceiling down in layers. The hottest and potentially most toxic area is at ceiling level. There will be fresh air at floor level. Get on your belly and crawl like a snake towards the door. You will probably be able to see at floor level. Find the wall (and follow the skirting board until you feel a gap or recess – this is the door) reach up and open the door and get out closing the door behind you.
And finally Be aware of the usual and alternative exits from your normal place of work and if you work in many places, you need to identify each route and assembly points. University Fire Action Notices are posted in your workplace. These are Blue in colour and give instructions in the event of a fire. Read it often and if the building(s) do not have notices tell your supervisor or the School/Building safety co-ordinator. Firefighters have lost their lives searching for people who were thought to be in a building while that person has been safely evacuated.
Please be sensible and follow the fire routine. NOW spend 5 minutes assessing your workplace, become familiar with the risks, firefighting equipment, exits and assembly points. Discuss this note with your colleagues and encourage new members of staff to be familiar with local fire procedures. Almost all kinds of materials are susceptible to fire damage. With the right intensity of fire, things can burst in flame, and eventually melt. Our very homes are made with these flammable materials, and although it seems improbable, no one is completely safe from fire damages.
Fire brings about destruction. It corrodes and eats up property and structures at an alarming rate, and makes things around it considerably weaker. Sometimes, fire becomes so intense that it brings whole buildings down to ground level. Entire structures and everything inside them crumble and are reduced to ashes. Aside from the immediate damage and destruction that fires bring, there is the element of smoke that comes with the fire. This is an overlooked damage that fire brings. In fact, most deaths from fires are caused by suffocation from smoke exposure.
However, it is important to note that smoke stays even after the fire has been subdued. Walls are stained, and certain parts of the property are contaminated with it. Determining the kind of smoke will help determine the kind of fire that took place, and ultimately save you lots of resources for cleaning and restoration of you property. Different causes of fires There are many causes of fire damage. The most common in homes and office buildings is faulty wiring. Exposed wires trigger sparks and surges that in turn ignite fires, causing huge damages to the structures involved.
Fire can also spark from electrical surges that come from overloaded appliances, causing the initial appliance to burn until the flames eventually spread across the area. This happens in loaded sockets without voltage regulators. When this is the case, so much electricity is being drawn from the singular socket, to the point that it overloads the appliances and exploded itself, or somewhere along its wires. Natural caucuses of fire are also possible. Although very uncommon, this causes the most destruction because it destroys animal habitat.
During summer heat waves, dry forest leaves start to burn up because of the scorching heat from the sun. These can evolve and turn into forest fires, affecting huge areas at a time. However, the most common cause of fire damage is human error. A huge percentage of fire-related accidents and damages are results of human carelessness. Electric appliances are left on, flammable furniture was placed beside open flames, and candles and fireplaces are left burning overnight without proper containers. Kinds of smoke and smoke damages As said earlier, there are different types of smoke that come with fires.
There is wet smoke, which comes with low, slow burning heat. It is very pungent and its stains are hard to clean up. Dry smoke comes with high temperature, fast burning heat. If this type of fire had occurred, few of the structures are left sturdy as the fires burn away most of them. Protein smoke is hard to spot, but is extreme ly pungent. It damages paint finishes and varnishes in and around the area affected. Fuel oil soot is easy to spot, and is generally from furnace fires. These are the most common types of smoke that can be found in fire-related accidents around living spaces.
Determining smoke damage is important in finding out what type of fire occurred to be able to ensure the safety of those who will go into the burned down structure. Also, this can ultimately determine specific courses of action to be taken to restore or completely renovate the place, and concretely take the correct measures to guard it from such accidents happening again. After gathering all the need-to-know information about the fire and the structures of the property, before the actual clean-up and restoration, one must first look at the actual extent of the damages.
Assessing the extent of damages When assessing fire damage, it is important to look past the damaged furniture and see how the fire has affected the support structure of the house/building itself. Can the building still stand by itself? Can the frame of the structure hold up new walls and linings? Along with professionals, it is most important to determine whether the structure can still hold, or if a total renovation is needed for you to be able to continue the use of that space. Burnt objects are brittle and weak, making supports very easy to break and or give way under or over people.
Seeking the help of a professional should help in preventing such a thing from happening. A professional should be hired when tackling fire damages because rarely do fires do their damage on just the surface. For an appliance, structure, or material to ignite, there have to be huge changes in the temperature and make-up of an object, therefore needing expert advice, assessment, and action. When a structure is declared safe for re-entering, all easily moveable burned objects must be properly disposed of. After that, depending on the plans of the professional, the restoration process can begin.
To alleviate costs after a fire, it is best to get fire insurance to cover your home. This will only help with financial costs, but that in itself would be a big help in case of a big fire. Fixing damages In fixing damages, there is no question that all affected structural supports should be replaced. Walls, bases, frames—all these should be restored to full strength to avoid further damages, related or unrelated to the fire that occurred. Some of the furniture and smaller objects may be recycled, as long as they are properly cleaned from any smoke contamination so as to avoid further health hazards.
Looking at the damages, one must also focus on the source of the fire and improve on that aspect of the building’s plans. Any local construction companies would know what to do after the fire inspector’s assessments on the condition of the structure. Also, in fixing fire damages, one must take into consideration the reality of preventing such fire accidents from happening again. Sometimes fires are caused by bad locations, an example of such would be living beside flammable structures without having safety walls between you.
In such instances, perhaps moving altogether or building all the necessary precautions should be done. Other times, fires are caused by living habits of the occupants of a building, such as leaving appliances on. Spacing of structures and buildings are important so as not to spread fires easily. There are laws on minimum distances between structures, which should be followed by all. Also, it would be best to have non flammable marks or separators on your property, separating it from nearby structures, and therefore lessening the possibility of catching fire from neighboring houses.
One must never try to tackle fire damage problems alone. This will risk accidents and further damage done. In going inside damaged property, one must wear thick clothing to avoid unwanted contact with burnt and contaminated materials, but at the same time allow for enough mobility to move effectively through the place. Avoiding further damages and fires on your property In medicine, it is well known that prevention is better than cure. The same can be said in fire-proofing your home. First of all, it starts with the thinking and making of building plans.
For example, the kitchen should be made up of the least flammable materials. Having flammable materials (especially appliances) in the kitchen is unavoidable, so to compensate, for example, tabletops should be made of steel or plastic. Also, smoke detectors and, if your budget permits, sprinkler systems should be installed to be warned if and when a fire does start inside your home. Another precaution would be to strategically place fire extinguishers in and around the house, just to have peace of mind in case of a fire breaking out.
Also, fireproofing your home and appliances will make them more resistant to catching fire. These can be requested to specialists in the filed or some construction companies. Little things such as not leaving appliances on, and even unplugging appliances when not in use should be developed. Leaving them on/plugged can cause over heating, (and consequently fires) to break out. Also, absolutely no open flames are to be left alone. Be it the fireplace in the living room or the stove in the kitchen, they must be supervised at all times.
It is also important to make sure that all the inhabitants of the house or building know where the exits are, and what to do if a fire does break out. Although seemingly unimportant and overly simple, following taking these simple preventive steps will greatly prevent fires breaking out in your living space. Other safety measures Apart from the measures to be taken in and around your home or living space, here are a few that should not be overlooked as well: * Take time to know the phone number of the fire department nearest you.
Make sure that the number is memorized or posted near the telephone so that it is there when it is needed. * Notify your neighbors, and tell them to do the same when they have cookouts and bonfires and their yards (or any activity that uses fire such as playing with fireworks). * Organize a meeting place outside and away from your house with your family in case a fire breaks out. Types of Disasters You’ve heard the word “disaster,” but what exactly does it mean? Your mom may have called your room a disaster (“clean it up! “), but a real disaster is serious.
There are natural disasters, like the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and there are manmade disasters, such as the oil spill that affected the Gulf Coast of the United States in 2010. Nature, including the weather, can cause big problems, such as ahurricane, earthquake, tornado, or tsunami a (big surge of water from the ocean). People also can cause disasters, like when the oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, or when someone — on purpose or accidentally — starts a fire in the woods that becomes a forest fire. You might wonder: What if that happened in my town?
Depending on where a person lives, there’s more risk of certain kinds of natural disasters. For instance, a tsunami only affects areas along coasts. Be Prepared Wherever you live, it’s good to be prepared for an emergency. You’ve probably already experienced something like this — maybe the power went out for a long time or there was a big snowstorm. Families can take simple steps like having a battery-powered radio, flashlights, bottled water, and extra food on hand. Knowing your family has a plan can help you feel more safe and secure.
Grownups are in charge of these plans, but you can ask your parents if they have a plan and an emergency kit. Some preparations are the same for everyone (flashlights, etc. ) but other plans will be different depending on which kind of problem might affect your area. For instance, if you live where there are tornadoes sometimes, the plan means knowing to listen to the radio for tornado warnings and to go to the safest part of the house until it passes. If your family wants to know more about being prepared, organizations like the American Red Cross can help.
You might feel upset about a disaster even if you’re not directly affected and there’s little chance of it ever happening in your town. It’s important to remember that lots of people are looking out for you. In a bad storm or other problem, that would include parents, police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, and other people who are trained to handle emergencies. When a disaster happens, you’ll see these people on the news helping people. What You Can Do Seeing these people being taken care of can make us feel a little better. But what else should you do if you’re feeling worried, upset, or just curious?
Here are some suggestions: Talk about your feelings. It’s good to be able to share what you’re feeling with a parent or another trusted adult. It’s OK to ask questions and wonder about why this happened. It’s also OK to feel sad, even if you don’t live in the affected area. Get a few extra hugs from your mom or dad, too. Be creative. It may sound funny, but drawing a picture or writing a poem can be helpful in sad times. Why? Because you get to express how you’re feeling. Limit Internet and TV. It can be hard to avoid Internet and TV reports about what’s happening.
But too much of it isn’t good for kids or grownups. Remind your mom and dad about this, too. What can you do instead? Anything — go outside, read a book, make a craft. You also might just count your blessings. That means taking a look around and noticing all the good stuff — sunshine, your family, your favorite song on the radio, your best friend, and your lovable pet. Help others. It’s a great idea to find a way to get involved. Not only will you help people who need food, clothes, and shelter, but you’ll feel better because you’re lending a hand.
You might raise money or gather supplies through your church, school, or by giving to a relief organization, such as: [Please note: By clicking on these links, you will be leaving our site. ] * American Red Cross, or (800) HELP-NOW * Save the Children, or (800) 728-3843 * UNICEF, or (800) 4UNICEF Know that healing will happen. Now you know it’s normal to feel sad about disasters, even if you’re fine and live far away. You should also know that the sad feelings you have will get better over time. And hard as it is to believe, even people who lost the most in a disaster will feel better someday.
It will take a long time, but they will slowly heal thanks to the people who care for them. Dark and Stormy Can Be Scary It was such a hot, sunny day, but now the skies have darkened to bluish-gray. “Get out of the pool! ” your Dad calls out. “I think it’s going to storm. ” Off in the distance, you hear a soft rumble of thunder. Maybe it will pass, you hope. But not this time. Fat raindrops almost sizzle as they hit the hot sidewalk. More rain and wind slashes at the windows. Lightning flashes bright, then BOOM! BANG! In the house, the lights flicker on and off and on again.
Uh-oh, nature is at it again. Loud thunderclaps surprise you and can make you jump. No wonder movies use thunder, lightning, and dark stormy nights when they want to create the mood for the scary parts! It’s also no surprise that most kids are scared of thunderstorms at some time in their lives. Whether you like them or not, you definitely want to be safe inside when one of them blows through your neighborhood. But some kids feel worried and nervous even when they’re indoors. If that’s you, you might need this 3-step plan for feeling better during a thunderstorm. 1. Understand what’s happening. . Know how to stay safe. 3. Find your calm. Kids can tame fears and learn how to get through a thunderstorm more calmly instead of feeling so afraid. This can take time and practice — and sometimes an adult’s help. But it also can be just a matter of getting older. Many fears melt away as you grow up. But if you’re scared of thunderstorms, you’re not alone. Most kids feel this way at some point. Step 1: Understand What’s Happening Storms show nature at its most amazing — all loud and wet and windy and flashy. But storms aren’t magic. Underneath it all, weather and science are happening.
It’s the combination of water and all that electricity passing through clouds that produces lightning. The electric boom of lightning heats up the atmosphere, causing the noise called thunder. To learn more about these wonders of nature, talk to your mom and dad or science teacher. Go to the library to find books or DVDs about weather. Some parts of the country have more thunderstorms than others. What’s the weather like in your area? Step 2: Know How to Stay Safe No matter how much you know about the science of storms, you still need to be inside when one is happening.
Even the birds, squirrels, bunnies, and other outdoor creatures pick a safe spot to wait out a storm. Did you ever see birds zipping away to their nests when a storm’s coming? They don’t want to get all wet and neither do you. Even more important, you don’t want to get struck by lightning. Lightning strikes — where someone gets hurt by lightning — are rare, but it’s the reason a lot of kids worry about storms. The good news is that you can learn rules to follow that keep you safe when lightning is flashing: * Get out of the pool, lake, ocean, or any body of water.
Water conducts electricity, meaning that electricity can travel through water. * If you’re outside, seek shelter in a house or building. If there’s no house or building, wait out the storm in a car. * If you’re outside and can’t get inside, don’t stand under or near large objects, like tall trees. Lightning is more likely to hit something tall. * Plan ahead. Talk with your parents about what to do if you get caught in a storm. Also be aware of the weather forecast when you’ll be outdoors, such as on a camping trip. Then you’ll be ready with a plan for getting to shelter if a storm blows up.
Step 3: Find Your Calm Once you’re safe inside, what if you’re still worried? You can tell a parent about the feelings you’re having. Describe what’s bothering you. What would make you feel better? You might snuggle up with mom or dad or even a pet. Imagine your dog or cat was the one who was scared. You would probably hold your pet close and talk softly. What could you say? “It’s only a storm, Fluffy. It will be over soon. ” You might encourage your loveable pet to see the upside of a storm. When you’re nice and snug indoors, you have a front-row seat to quite a show.
Watch the wind bend the trees around and the leaves swirl through the air. And all that lightning and thunder can be better than fireworks on the Fourth of July. You also can do some easy math to figure out how far away the lightning strikes are. Watch for the flash, then start counting the seconds that pass until you hear the thunder. Divide that number by 5 and you’ll have the approximate distance in miles. This can be helpful because you can follow the progress of the storm as it clears out of your area. If you’d rather not soak up the noise and commotion, you could escape under your headphones and listen to some music.
Or take advantage of inside time to play a board game, read a book, or write down what you’re thinking and feeling at that very moment. Maybe you’ll decide to draw a picture or write a poem about this storm. Here Comes the Sun By the time you do that, you might look outside and notice the skies are brightening. This storm has passed, just like all of them do. Now what? Hey, those puddles look ready to jump in! Go ahead, you’re waterproof. And sometimes the sun comes out right away after a storm. And you know what that means. If you look for it, you just might see that super-splash of color in the sky — a perfect rainbow!