When a tornado siren blares any other time besides Saturday at noon, my kids know exactly what to do – head for the shelter. But several weeks ago when the fire alarm sounded, they ignored it. IGNORED IT!! Thankfully, it was a false alarm, but guess what we did the next day….you guessed it – Fire drills.
It’s amazing to me that I had never thought to do this before and on a consistent basis. The only thing I had previously done was teach them how to dial 911, which has resulted in one of my children calling it for real while practicing, so now we practice on fake phones. I’ve also got a sign hung above our printer where a land line still exists that says 911 and our address. Other than that, we had talked about what we needed to do in case of a fire but never drilled it.
Needless to say, I am thankful for that wake up call so I can practice all emergencies with my children and be prepared in case it actually happens.
First, we watched this Get Out Alive! video that clearly shows what the kids exactly need to do.
Then, we actually practiced this about 10 times. The first few times I talked them through it but after that they had to do everything themselves just it case it happens and we can’t get into their room.
- Make sure brothers & sisters are awake. (Currently, all our kiddos sleep in one room.)
- Crawl to the door and check to see if the door is hot by touching the door.
- If not hot, then open the door and check for smoke.
- If the door is hot or there is smoke, close the door and then go out the bedroom window.
- Latch the window tight and then let each child practice opening the window & getting out.
- We emphasized team work. I want them to stay together and make sure all of them get out of the window successfully.
- Designate a family meet up spot. For us that was our neighbors’ yard..far enough from the house but close enough we don’t have to wonder if anyone made it safely.
Of course, I emphasized that they could only go out the windows when they hear the fire alarm or if they need to get out for another type of emergency but they should not do this on a regular for fun basis.
I am so thankful we did this drill. A few weeks later, the fire alarm went off thanks to my fabulous cooking skills and we had the opportunity to see if our drilling made a difference. This time, when the alarms sounded, all the kids came running. Although the kitchen was filled with smoke and I had to admit to the alarm company that I was the culprit, it was the perfect real life test that I needed to make sure the lesson had been learned. Now, we just need to keep it fresh in their minds by practicing it every quarter at least.
Now, we just need to cover CPR, First Aide, earthquake, flooding & even burglary preparedness. I’m thinking at least for now until Texas drops off the map, we don’t have to worry about hurricanes. With what happened during the rumored Tigernado, maybe Circus Trainer or Big Game hunter might get added to the list.
Are your kids ready if a fire happens? What emergency plans do you have in place?