I know a lot of people don’t like to think about disasters and I don’t LIKE it either. But I do like knowing my entire family is prepared in the event of an emergency. To make talking to your family less intimidating and scary, First Alert is sharing The Super Prepared Family to help families practice and learn about fire and carbon monoxide safety this Fire Prevention Month.
Growing up, I remember learning about fire safety in school every year. I also remember coming home after, when my brother and I would reiterate to my parents what we learned. Staying low to the ground, feeling the door to see if it was safe to leave the room and then setting a place for the family to meet up once you were able to get out of your house. We would practice climbing from our bedroom windows, go through the exits from each room and meet up at our safe spot.
This year, we realized we hadn’t talked to Blaire about fire safety. We have talked about appliances and outlets being dangerous. But we hadn’t talked with her about what to do in the event of a fire. As a parent, it’s easy to think I would just be able to grab my kids and get out, that they wouldn’t even need to think about what to do. But that’s not the case. And at 4-years-old there’s a lot Blaire can do and understand.
Teach your preschooler to call 911 in an emergency. Show them how to do it on your phone even when it’s locked. Talk through the scenarios in which they should call 911, and talk to them about how serious it is.
Blaire is very aware of police cars, ambulances and fire trucks. I’ve mentioned before that we pray whenever we pass one on the street. We have taken her to “Touch A Truck” events and go out of our way to say hi to first responders if we see them at the store, gas station, etc.
There have been multiple times the fire truck has been in the Target parking lot when we are leaving the store. Both times they were helping someone unlock their car door. And both times we have waited near our car for them to finish and then I take Blaire over to say hi. They are always SO nice. They let her sit in the truck. They show their equipment. She, as best she can, understands what they do. She understands they are busy and their jobs and time are important. Reiterating this to your children will help them to take 911 seriously.
2| Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Your toddler probably doesn’t even realize you have these in your home, let alone realize what they mean when they make noise. Walk through your home and show your child(ren) where they are. As a reminder, you should have one on every floor of your home, as well as in each bedroom. First Alert makes detectors that are both smoke and CO. The batteries are good for 10 years! Reiterate that the sounds these detectors make might sound scary, but they should never hide when they hear them. They should get you right away.
3| Make an escape plan and PRACTICE it.
You and your children should know two ways out of each space in your home. Talk about them, practice each escape route. Show them how to open windows and doors. Show them how to feel a door with the back of their hand. Explain to them that if it’s hot that means the fire is on the other side of the door. They should keep it closed and they should stay low to the ground. And when they get out of those house DO NOT go back in. Tell them the firemen will try their best to rescue pets. They DO NOT rescue the pets. We have stickers on our doors that indicate how many pets we have and what they are (2 cats, 1 dog).
4. Have a meeting place.
Your children should know where to meet up with you in the case of a fire. Practice getting out. Practice meeting up. If you know and love your neighbors like we do, tell your child to run right to their house, to ring their door bell, to ask for their help.
5| Practice and talk about fire safety regularly.
If you only talk about it during fire safety week, it’s not as effective. You need to constantly remind your child about what to do. Keep practicing.
There are so many more tips for fire safety and tips for talking through fire safety with your children. First Alert put together a great kit with The Super Prepared family. Blaire loves the activity pages and they helped her be less scared when talking about fire safety.
Sure, some of these things seem basic. But over 100 million homes in the US are not protected with smoke alarms and 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with 0 working some alarms.
Also, 40% of homes do not have a single CO alarm. You cannot smell, see or hear CO. It is the NUMBER 1 cause of accidental deaths in the US. Every year there are 80,000 CO incidents.
Get detectors for your home. Check their batteries every 6 months.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.