My 6-year-old son, walked into my bedroom while I was resting with a baby. “Mommy, there is a fire in the back yard” he said so calmly. NOW…..once before when he was three he told us “I saw fire.” We didn’t believe him. We should have. So when Isaiah said “mommy, there is a fire in the backyard” I jumped with some concern.
And concern was due. Seemed Isaiah, found the matches that were hidden, went into the back little area of trees behind our house and was playing with them. He started a small fire. So I jumped into action, getting the hose, calling 911, and then dealing with the aftermath of processing this with the kids- I knew we were kinda prepared. (Although I learned that talking to 911-I can not determine math related questions-such as how far is the house from the fire-my answer-a back yard distance! ) But I did know calling from a cell phone to give your address right away. I was calm, till they started asking math relate questions and then I got frustrated.
We had many talks with Isaiah. Just a few weeks before during a thunderstorm, lightening had hit a house and in the middle of the night, from the front of our house we could see the flames. So we first drew pictures or wrote about what happened. Then we drove by the site of the burned house again. We talked about fire safety till he finally put his hand up and said “no more I get it.” We wanted to make sure that he was not going to do this again and that we were prepared!
Fire escape plan : Having a plan, and letting everyone know this, can save lives. We review with our kids what to do if they hear the smoke detectors go off, if they smell smoke while in their rooms at night, or see fire. As a foster family, we are to have a fire plan so foster kids know what to do. It is good for any over night visitors to know what to do-just in case. Here is a simple resource for you and your family to make an escape plan for your family. Review with them how to get out, how to open the windows and push out the screen.
Fire Extinguisher: Every house needs one, if not two or three. We have three. As a foster home we must have a 5 lb Fire Extinguisher . We have two smaller ones too. All are in different areas of our home.
Smoke Detectors: We have three in our house. Two over by the kids bedrooms, by each of the room doors and one in ours. Two are connected, so if one on the other side of the house goes off, ours will go off too. Our third one is hooked to our alarms system. We also have a carbon monoxide detector too.
Stop Drop Roll: Reviewing with kids often what to do if you ever catch on fire. We practice this just to see how it would work.
Crawl Low Under Smoke: If there is smoke, start crawling out.
Meeting place and DO NOT GO BACK IN: Make sure your family knows where the meeting place is. And please make sure they understand to NOT got back into a burning house! I had to re-emphasize this with my kids.
Hide, hide, hide the lighters and matches: So we have our lighter and matches hidden. So we thought, but my husband while grilling, put them up high, but in sight and a curious little 6 years old started a fire. And we learned a lesson. Don’t think not my kids. If you smoke, keep your lighters up. Because you just never know.
Resources to help your family prepare for family safety:
Keeping Kids Safe– great resources
Check out my Pinterest Emergency readiness board where I am adding new ideas all the time.