It’s official – you’ve made it through January and all the pressure to commit to a resolution for the New Year! Now it’s time to settle in and make some real changes that will improve your life in 2014. As promised, I’m coming to you to talk about fire safety again, a goal I set for my family this year as part of my work as a Kidde Brand Ambassador.
The beginning of the year is the perfect time to evaluate your family’s fire safety plan, or if you’ve never created a plan, take the time to do so! As I shared with you before, my family has a plan for everything from who to call when there’s an emergency to what meal to prepare in a pinch, but until this ambassador program, we did not have a fire safety plan. My hope is that by walking you through the creation of my family’s fire safety plan, you’ll be inspired to create (and practice!) one of your own.
To begin, my husband and I reviewed the FEMA Fire Escape Planning Considerations. Every second counts when there’s a fire in your home, so the time to plan is now before you’re facing a fire emergency. The points that stood out most to us were the need to designate two ways to get out of every room of the house as well as create a meeting place outside of the home. After reading through the considerations, we downloaded the free FEMA Fire Escape Plan Grid. Because our home has three levels, we printed out three grids to include in our fire escape plan as part of our fire preparation.
Once we created our plan using the Fire Escape Plan Grid, we went over the fire escape plan with our kids. We’ve talked about fire safety with our children from the time they were old enough to understand, so they understood the importance of having a fire escape plan in place. While we didn’t practice every aspect of the plan such as climbing out the second story bedroom windows, we took the time to go over every variable including the need to use the Kidde escape ladders should the kids come across a door that is warm to the touch. The kids did a great job and feel much more secure now that we all know the plan including our family meeting spot.
We also realize that practicing this plan once or twice is not enough. Because we don’t need to replace our smoke alarm batteries when we change our clocks each spring and fall thanks to our Kidde Worry-Free smoke alarms, we have designated those days as our fire escape plan practice days. The reminders from our local fire department during those times of year are the perfect way to remember to focus on fire preparation in our home. As part of the fire escape plan creation, we’ve also realized that we need more escape ladders for our home as well as more Kidde Worry-Free smoke alarms. We understand that having the necessary products in our home to detect and escape a home fire is also critical to our family’s fire preparation.
As parents we do all that we can to keep our family’s safe and healthy, but sometimes the sheer volume of all there is to think about can become overwhelming. A fire escape plan is one aspect of parenting that cannot fall to the wayside because of our busy lives, and I’m so glad that I’ve finally faced the areas of fire safety where my family was falling behind. It is my sincere hope that our story will inspire you to take time this weekend to create and practice a fire escape plan. Please use these additional resources as they fit your family:
– SafeKids page about fire safety (includes information for families with children with special needs)