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When I was a teacher, our school had a fire drill at least once a year, for good reason. If something were to happen in the school, it was important that our kids knew just what to do. In fact, I can remember being a child myself during a fire drill and even during a bus fire drill.
Now that I am a mom with four kids… I hate to admit that we have only had conversations about what we would do, but we haven’t truly practiced it, until this past year, which is scary since home fires account for most fire-related deaths.
Last week, my friend called to tell me about a family in her neighborhood. They had a fatal fire a few weeks ago that took the lives of the parents and the three children. I can hardly write that without feeling sick to my stomach, but because it does make me so sad, I knew that I had to write about it. I knew that I had to help spread the word about fire safety since 90% of fire related deaths are from home fires. Having working smoke alarms in your home is a must, but it is also important for every person (even the kids) in the family to know what to do when the smoke alarms go off. That’s why I downloaded the Make Safe Happen app to practice my home fire drill with our family.
Here’s the deal: fires happen the most in the fall & winter, so we need to be prepared. Seriously… look at these statistics:
Did you see the part about having 2 minutes to escape? That should be a ‘fire’ under all of us to get this plan started. Protect your family.
One thing to explore is teaching the kids the difference between a good fire and a bad fire… If kids see a good fire (candle, stove, campfire) they are to stay a safe distance away. If they see a bad fire (trash can, curtain, etc.) they need to alert an adult.
I want you to get started, so I am going to give you a game-plan:
1- Download the Make Safe Happen App. It has specific fire safety tools, including the 2-min. timer and tips for smoke alarms, home fire drilland escape plans; as well as general home safety tips and tools and room by room, plus age by age checklists.
2- Talk about what you will do in your home. Where will everyone go? Where will you meet when you are outside? Remind your kids not to get anyone else, not to get their toys or pets – just get out.
3- What if they can’t leave their room? What if the fire started by their door? Our kids have fire escape ladders in their rooms, so if they cannot get out of their room through their door, they now know how to operate the windows and ladders.
4- We’ve been using some of the fun ideas at HomeFireDrillDay.com to make practicing our drill more fun. Our favorite is to use the commercial breaks as a timer. Commercial breaks are about two minutes long. What a coincidence –that’s how long it should take you to safely escape your home in a fire. So, let’s practice fire drills during commercial breaks.
The challenge: Can your family get from the TV to the safety spot in under two minutes?
5- Role Play! Let your kids take turns being the child in the house, escaping while another child is the fireman coming to make sure that everyone is at their meeting spot outside.
Please don’t wait to practice a fire-safe plan.
Reminder–>> if you have a young child, be sure to assign an adult to each young child, so you have a true plan and can get the child & get out safely.
Pledge to practice your own Home Fire Drill on October 14, 2017 at HomeFireDrillDay.com!
for Home Fire Drill Day. PS – check that website for information, worksheets, checklists & more.