Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fire Safety at Home--A Dinner Conversation

When I was a little girl a smoke alarm salesman came to our house to give my parents a demonstration of smoke alarms. I was playing in the other room when he lit a match under the alarm and it went off jarringly. I came running to see what was happening!

I was probably 4 or 5 when this took place, but I remember another thing about his visit. He gave me a "Smokey the Bear". This teddy bear had a hard plastic hat with an elastic band, a badge attached to his chest and his legs were made of denim with furry feet sticking out. He was my teddy bear my whole childhood.

I don't remember if my parents bought smoke detectors from that salesman or not.

But I remember years later when we lived in two story houses, after fire safety prevention lessons at school, thinking about how I would get out of my upstairs bedroom in case of a fire.

When we were married and moved to Peru as missionaries, I remember being concerned because all of the windows that opened in our house had bars over them screwed into the house. No way to get them off. My American safety conscious mind decided I had to to trust God. Thankfully I never had to jump from an upstairs window or try to break a window that didn't have bars so I could get out of my house.

But a good dinnertime conversation would be about family fire safety. Here are some good conversation starters:

1. If our house were on fire, and you were in ______ room, tell me two ways you could get out. (Eventually discuss all of the rooms in your house.)

2. What are some good ways to prevent a house fire?

3. If a fire starts in a pan because of grease, what is the best way to put it out?

4. Where would be a good place for all of us to meet outside if there were a fire in our house? 

5. How do you call the fire department when there is a fire?

These are just some starter discussions. It would be a good idea, and actually a fun game, to have some practice fire drills at your house. You could buy a whistle or turn on a smoke detector alarm to be the signal. Tell  your family after your discussion on fires that you will have a fire drill that evening and what the signal will be. Get everyone to go about their regular after dinner activities and at the time you decide start the signal. Time yourselves to see how long it takes everyone to get to the meeting place.

Over the next week or so, have a couple of more drills and see if you can beat your previous times. Then put it on your calendar to do this at least twice a year so everyone remembers what to do and where to go. 

Below are a couple of websites that have more information and even printouts and games you can use to help your family prevent fires and be prepared in case of one. 

Keep your family safe!

Fire Prevention Week Teaching
Fire Safety as a Family

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  1. Love these ideas and definitely smart ideas! Our older boys have done activities like this with school where they draw a plan for their home but we've never done it as a whole family.

    1. I have to admit we didn't do this much when our kids were growing up, but I still think it would be a good family activity!



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