You never think it could happen to you. You never really consider that you could fall victim to a fire. Until it’s too late.
Never would I have imagined it, and fortunately, we didn’t have a home fire, but we had a scare and it reminded me the importance of teaching the kids a home fire safety plan and making sure they knew it.
Baby was asleep in our bed and had been asleep for a few hours. The big kids were playing in Buggy’s room and Buddy had just left her room to go to his own bed. It was shortly after 11pm (I promise they were sent to bed at 9pm, but no matter what we do, this happens every night.)
Buddy hadn’t been in his room for long when he hollered something (which I later discovered he asked why it smelt like smoke).
I was watching television in the living room with hubby, when hubby shot up and sprinted into Buddy’s room.
It was then that I smelled smoke.
Hubby started looking all over the house and I followed suit; moving things, checking the electrical outlets, checking all the rooms, trying to follow the smell to see where it was coming from.
We pin pointed the smell in the kitchen and dining room area and it was then that we noticed smoke coming out of our air vents.
Hubby’s quick thinking turned off the air conditioner (did I mention we live in Arizona and it was easily 90+ degrees still). As the air conditioner began to turn itself off, the smoked continued and we decided calling the local fire department would be safe (you know, better to be safe than sorry).
We were very fortunate that the fire department (after checking the house and the attic) headed to the roof and their thermal heat reader thing-a-ma-jig showed a burnt up air conditioner motor.
I have never been so relieved in my life, but I had never been so scared.
We have our life belongings in this house, not to mention 2 cats, a dog, a gerbil, and my 3 very precious children.
It dawned on me that while we had discussed a home fire safety plan, it had been some time since we reviewed it so it was time for a refresher course.
In case of a fire, do your kids know what to do?
Buggy’s Answer: Feel your door. If it is hot, try to open the window. If you can’t open it, try to break it. If you can’t break it, stay low and away from the fire and mom and dad will come and break the window to get you out. If it’s not hot, leave the room, go out the front door and meet at the stop sign.
Be sure your kids know to check their door (if they keep it closed) and that they should never hide. It makes it harder for firefighters to find them.
If you have a two story house, be sure you have a way for them to get out their window (ie: a ladder designed specifically for this purpose). Be sure the kids know how to use it.
Be sure they understand to crawl low, under the fire. It is easier to breath under the smoke (smoke rises).
Be sure they know where to meet when they get out of the house and that once they get to that meeting place, do not move or go wandering around. (Growing up, we had a rock in our front yard that was our meeting place. Now, we have a stop sign that the kids are to meet at.)
Be sure they know that they should not go back into the house at any time.
Be sure they know not to worry about their belongings. They shouldn’t worry about grabbing their toys, clothes, backpack, etc. All those things are replaceable; your baby is not.
Practice makes perfect. Every month, practice the routine. If you have a two story house, practice having the kids use the ladder to get out their window. Practice crawling low and exiting the house. Practice meeting at the designated meeting place.
Remember, it can happen to anyone and it is better to be safe than sorry! Having a home fire safety plan and ensuring your kids know it can save their life.