Monday, July 2, 2012

Are you prepared for a fire?


The wild fires sweeping through Colorado this past week have seemed to keep the entire country on edge. Enormous smoke clouds billowed over the city, ash dropped on fleeing citizens, and heroes risked their lives at the front lines of the battle against a ravenous monster.

(source)

Throughout the Midwest, scorching temperatures and severe drought are leaving their mark – withered crops, dead grass, heat exhaustion. Some places have received a bit of rain this weekend. Others haven’t. The grass is still brown, and our town has canceled all fireworks.

Now might be a good time to talk with your family about fire safety. What would you do if your house caught on fire and you were there? Do your children know what to do? Here are some suggestions. (Many of these suggestions children learn in public school. But if you homeschool or haven’t thought about it in a while, a reminder may be in order.)

  1. Show your children how to get out of the house. Do they know how to unlock the door? Do they know how to open the window and kick out the screen? If you have a two-story, do you have emergency roll-up ladders tucked away in a closet? Make sure your children know where they are and how to use them.
  2. Leave entry ways clear. Don’t let stuff pile up in front of an exit.
  3. Choose a meeting place outside, typically on the sidewalk directly across the street from the house.
  4. Assign buddies. Our oldest five all sleep in the same room, so the two oldest know that they should keep everyone together. The baby sleeps in our room. Our plan is for me to get the baby and my husband will make sure the others got out.
  5. Keep a fire extinguisher under your bed. This could clear a path for you to get to your children if needed. Keep a second fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink. Check both regularly to make sure they are pressurized.
  6. Decide what items you might grab on the way out, should the opportunity present itself. This one is tricky, I’ll admit, and I debated whether even to add it to the list. I’ve never been in a fire, so I’m not sure how it would work. But I have a mental list of what I might try to take with me if the flames haven’t reached my location yet and all the children are safe. My list includes my purse, the three scrapbooks on the coffee table, my Bible with my handwritten notes in the margin, my flash drive, my laptop. The children’s keepsake boxes are buried in the closet, so I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to get them. I would love to be able to back our van out of the garage, but, clearly, everyone’s safety is top priority.
  7. Stock a fire-proof safe. Keep birth certificates, marriage certificate, wills, social security cards, stock or bond certificates, and retirement fund information in it. Make backup discs of home video and digital photos and store in the safe.

Over supper tonight, or perhaps during a family time this weekend, talk with your spouse and children to design a plan in case of emergency. 

Then pray that you never need it.









Do you have a fire plan in place? Do you have anything to add to this list? Can you share any wisdom learned the hard way – from a fire of your own?




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16 comments:

  1. im sorry i was not aware of this...good tips your sharing...thanks for sharing friend...prayers for all this situations ..

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    1. I guess I'm not used to having international visitors. I need to think more globally! (I suppose many would say that is typical of Americans!) Yes, the wildfires near Colorado Springs are finally being contained. And, where we are in Indiana received a bit of rain -- but not enough. Thanks so much for visiting, and I'm looking forward to keeping up with your blog.

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  2. We occasionally have fire drills at our house. Thanks for the reminder, Meghan. :)

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    1. Excellent suggestion, Lisa! Thanks for adding to the list.

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  3. Thank you for the reminders, prayers go out to those families in CO

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    1. It's been a terrifying thing to watch, but I understand that they think they have it under control now. Some families were let back into Colorado Springs yesterday. Thanks for commenting.

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  4. Wise points, thank you for sharing this!

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    1. Thanks, Tesha. The children and I were just talking about what our plan was should our house ever catch on fire, and I thought the conversation might be helpful to others.

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  5. Thanks Meghan. We actually have to have a fire plan in place because of being foster parents. However, last year as the wild fires in Texas were incredibly close to our home we had to really think about what we would do if we had to evacuate or our neighborhood caught fire.

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    1. It's a terrifying thought. And I don't know how much of this I would actually remember in the heat of the moment. But I would hope that at least having thought of it would help. Sounds like you're in good shape! Thanks.

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  6. Thanks for the tip about the extinguishers under the bed - I have them in the kitchen, but hadn't thought about in the bedroom with me! It's so scary to have to plan for emergencies, although extremely necessary.

    Marissa @ forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com

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    1. That tip actually came from the phone co. guy who was helping us figure out where the phone jacks needed to be in our new house a few years back. I thought it was a great idea, and I'm so thankful we haven't had to use it. Thanks, Marissa!

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  7. These are excellent tips! The same fires triggered a talk with our boys...Thank you for sharing on NOBH.
    Love and God Bless,
    Christy

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    1. Don't you love it when current events help you have a "teaching moment"? Thanks for commenting, Christy!

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