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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fire Safety

Did you know that young children rarely know what to do in the event of a fire? Children often hide in closets or under their beds to get away from a house fire. This, of course, can turn into a terrible tragedy if an adult is unable to get to the child.

It is important to discuss fire safety early and often in order to make sure your child is well prepared if there is ever a fire in your home or in any home where they may be sleeping over.
I recently learned that Allstate has a fire safety video available. My trip to the fire department produced this video, and I have to say I'm impressed with how good the video is. Kira loves singing the "Fire Safety" song and talking about what she would do if there was a fire. This video has opened up a new avenue of conversations that will help her if the need arises.

I highly recommend that you get a copy of this video. It is geared to children of all ages. Even I love watching the show and listening to the music. There are many top name celebrities that took place in the making of the video. The smoke detector even looks like the person who is voicing those lines.

Contact your local Allstate agency to see if they can send you this video. It is well worth your time.

Now, I have to give you a few tips to go along with my praise of the video.

1) Teach your children not to hide. Tell them to go outside as quickly as possible. Be sure to point out the escape routes available to them.

2) Teach them to crawl on the floor to avoid smoke inhalation. Explain that smoke rises up and the floor is the best place to be if they are unable to see through the smoke. It is also a good idea to practice crawling through your escape routes so your children can learn to recognize key landmarks from the lower views.

3) Teach them to never play with matches or lighters. I also recommend testing them. Leave a lighter out when you are nearby and see how they react. You can't be sure how your child will react in a situation unless you test them.

4) Let them hear what the smoke detectors sound like so they will know. If they don't know the sound of the machine then they won't know what to do when they hear it.

5) Mark your child's window so fire fighters will know what room they sleep in. I got stickers from the fire department to put on the windows. The firemen did tell me that it was very important to move the sticker if the child changes rooms. That way they won't waste time going into an empty room to save a child that isn't there. You can also get a "save my pets" sticker to let the firemen know there are animals in the house. Yes, they will try there best to save animals, too.

6) Determine a meeting place and practice an escape to make sure everybody knows where to meet. Discuss ahead of time who will be responsible for getting small children. It can be quite chaotic if you have not made a decision about which parent will go after which child.

(This is where I tell you that there is NO WAY I am leaving my house without trying to get to my babies. I don't care that the firemen may be able to locate them. I am not going to leave my house and wait for somebody else to get here and go in after my babies. My older children can get out. My little ones, can not get out of the house on their own. Randall and I have clearly discussed how to handle the situation so one of us goes out to be under their bedroom window and one goes to their bedroom to get them. )

7) If you have 2nd story floors or higher, I highly recommend that you purchase and install escape ladders in those upstairs bedrooms. They are pricey, but could possibly save the life of your child by providing a safe exit through an upstairs window.


Petula said...

I used to go over this with my oldest daughter all the time when we lived in a two-story townhouse. Now, we're in a rancher, and I need to come up with a new plan and go over it with the little ones. As a matter of fact they have safety drills at their school tomorrow.