Summer’s almost here!

Soon, school will be out and families will be firing up those propane-powered grills for cookouts.

If you have children in your home, it’s important to teach them how to be safe around propane to avoid possible injury, property damage, and fire.

But let’s be honest: Propane safety is not the world’s most exciting topic. If your attempts to talk about it with your children have resulted in eye rolls, here are some tips you may want to try from the Propane Education and Research Council’s PropaneKids.com.

Let your child be a “safety ranger” for a day. Walk around your home with him, armed with this checklist. Show him where you use propane in your home and check for any hazards. If you see one, explain why it is dangerous and correct it. Then, have him help you point out other hazards. Remind him to always report any propane hazards to an adult.

Designate a “family meeting place” and let your child design a sign for it. This is a spot outside your home where your family will meet in any emergency, propane related or otherwise. From here, you’ll decide what to do next.

Conduct a drill. Have your children pretend to smell gas and react accordingly, practicing the safety plan you’ve designed for a propane emergency.  Correct any mistakes, and praise behavior that follows your plan.

Make it fun. Games are a lot more fun for your kids than listening to a safety speech. So illustrate your messages about propane safety with interactive activities. For instance, the web site suggests an activity to help your kids understand how quickly gas can travel and how it is usually not visible. Stand on the other end of a room from your children and spray a scented air freshener. Do not tell your children what the scent is, but see how long it takes them to guess it. You can even time their responses to show them how quickly a dangerous gas could travel.

Making propane safety interesting for your children can help them remember what to do in an emergency. For more tips and activities, go to the PorpaneKids.com Tools and Resources page

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