Friday, November 30, 2012

In Case of Emergency

Safety has been on my mind a lot lately. I've become increasingly aware that it's time to start teaching the kids more about personal safety and have been reviewing some books and other resources to that end. That deserves its own separate post though, and I'll share some good things I have found.

Aside from personal safety, I've been thinking/worrying a lot about fires. The way our house is laid out, the kids sleep upstairs on the top level (our bedroom is on the main level). They each have a window that we have permanently locked at the moment, because outside those windows is at least a 50-foot drop. It's been on my mind recently that I don't know what I would tell the kids to do in the event there was a fire outside their rooms. Clearly it wouldn't be to go out the window!!! We have many smoke detectors throughout the house and are conscientious about fire prevention but it was just something plaguing me a bit.

I mentioned this to some friends in my MOMS Club the other night, and one of them took it upon herself to contact the local fire department and ask if they would come do a fire inspection at my house (she and I had discussed this, but I wasn't sure they would come to my house because we're immediately over the border into the next city). Sure enough, someone contacted me and sent a fireman over to the house yesterday to do an inspection.

This is an AMAZING program. Apparently the city got several grants to do these inspections, which include a walk-through and inspection, creation and practice of an escape plan if you want, and two new smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors that they will install for you. Pretty awesome right? I got so much good advice during the consultation and I feel so much more confident that we would respond the right way in an emergency.

As far as the layout of the house goes, he acknowledged that prevention and early detection of any fire risk upstairs is crucial given the lack of viable escape routes. There are smoke detectors in each of the bedrooms and the hallway between as well. I mention this because he replaced the detectors in the kids' rooms - did you know they have a lifespan of about ten years? - and discovered that Pacey's didn't have any batteries in it. I can't believe I am even admitting that here, but I hope it will prompt each and every one of you to go check your detectors. It's one of those things I was SURE we had done correctly and had up to date and yet. No batteries. Yikes. I did note that the new ones he installed take AA batteries instead of the old 9V ones, which I imagine is hugely more conducive to people keeping them in working order.

Anyway, it's a huge weight off my mind and if you're at all unsure about your fire safety status, I'd recommend looking to see if there's a program like this available to you. Especially when you've moved into a new home relatively recently (as we had), you may not be aware of certain things that need replacing or revising.

There you go, my PSA for 2012. :)

1 comment:

Heather said...

I'm right there with you on worrying about that stuff. There is only one way to go to get out our house via the exterior doors we have- and if that way is cut off, we have problems. This was really on my mind a year and a half ago when the Hubs was gone for 8+ weeks.

I started sleeping with a fire extinguisher in our room and I bought a fire ladder that can be hung from a window to climb down. Now- as the Hubs has noted quite a few times, we've never actually tried using the ladder, but it does make me feel better to have it. ;)

I may call our local fire dept to see if they'll come out here- thanks for the tip!