Did you know that October is Fire Safety Month? What steps are you taking to make sure you and your family are safe? Are you doing everything you can to prevent the unthinkable? Thanks to Home Depot, we had a local fireman (and family friend) come to our home to take the kids through our home and help us create a fire safety protocol.
While we have known Fireman Chris for a long time, the kids are always in awe when they see him in uniform. After a brief introduction and testing the kids’ current safety knowledge, Chris gave us several tips to make sure our home is properly protected from fires.
1. Smoke detectors should be located inside every bedroom and on every level of your home. Batteries should be changed twice a year which can be obtained from your local firehouse. Did you know that 62 percent of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with either no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms according to a 2011 report from The National Fire Protection Association? Fortunately, Fireman Chris gave us the smoke detector seal of approval!
2. When possible, cooking should be done on your back burners and away from little hands. At the very least, pot handles should be pointed to the back to avoid accidents.
3. Children should always sleep in a room with a closed door. If a smoke detector sounds, the child should crawl to the door and feel the door with the back of their hand. If the door is cool, it is safe to escape.
4. If the child is trapped in their room in the event of a fire, it is imperative that they do not hide under the bed, in a closet or under covers. The should lay face down in the middle of their room with arms and legs spread wide and scream loudly. This will help a fireman find them quickly and pull them to safety.
5. Every home should have a working fire extinguisher which should be inspected regularly for proper pressure. Use PASS when operating the extinguisher: Pull, Aim, Shoot, Spray.
6. Designate a spot for your family to meet in case an evacuation is needed. This should be away from the house at a tree or mailbox. Stress to your children that once they are out of the house, they should not return for a pet or any sentimental items.
After a tour of our home, Chris dressed in all of his gear to show the kids what he would look like if he came to rescue them in the face of a fire. He explained that they should not be afraid of a fireman even though they may look scary in all their gear. They are the good guys and will bring them to safety! The kids even got to try on the gear for themselves.
Chris’ visit was an informative one! The kids enjoyed it and my husband and I learned a lot about fire safety, too. If you are looking to get more information, The Home Depot, in partnership with NFPA and Kidde, is helping raise awareness of fire safety throughout October by offering in-store fire safety workshops for kids and adults. Find a workshop at a The Home Depot store near you or check out fire safety tips on the Home Depot website.