I come from a long line of over-prepared women, and I am proud of it. Weather it is packing for a trip or preparing for the unknown, I want to make sure I have everything and know everything about what might happen. I am the queen of being prepared.
When Home Depot reached out to me earlier this month about learning more about fire safety, it was as if they knew I was Mrs. Prepared. Would I like to visit a fire station with my daughter and friends to learn more about fire safety? Yes, please! It has been a couple of years since our last trip to the fire station, I doubt K even remembers it, so I was eager to use the visit to get the conversation about fire safety started.
Years ago, my best friend nearly burnt down her house with a curling iron and my aunt actually did burn down her house with spontaneous combustion due to improperly disposed of varnish soaked rags. Because of those two powerful memories, I have a very real fear of a home fire. In both cases everyone was lucky because no one was home to get injured, but what if small children had been home? I want to make sure my daughter knows what to do – just in case. And that what I teach her to do is correct.
We are extremely lucky that we have a world-class fire station in our city. Our hosts were accommodating and knowledgeable. They made the visit fun, and not at all scary. (I have to be careful with my preparations sometimes that I don’t make things seem scary or K shuts down on me and doesn’t want to learn.) Thank you for your time and sharing your knowledge with us!
Because a field trip is always more fun with a buddy, I invited a couple of K’s pals to join us at the fire station. The girls had a great time exploring the station, trying on kid-sized fire suits, checking out the engines and even seeing the guys rush out to take a call. But most importantly, we all learned about fire safety.
Top 5 Fire Safety Training Tips For Kids
Dial 911 – When asked about the most important thing to teach preschoolers, our firefighter host, Tina, asked the girls who knew what number to call in case of an emergency. I beamed with pride, when K shouted “911.”
Make a plan – The next most important safety tip we were given is to make a plan. This is something I am guilty of not doing. Tina suggests to go as far as to draw a map to illustrate two (or more) exists out of every room. It is also important to have a set meeting place so everyone knows where to go in the event of an emergency.
Practice, Practice Practice – It isn’t enough to just have a plan, you must review the plan as a family. Tina suggests fire drills just like in school. The more you practice, the more your kids will just know what to do automatically in the event of an emergency. Yes, that even means purposely setting off a smoke detector so your kids know what it sounds like.
Consider Voice Alert – During our visit, Tina told us about a study she did a few years ago with a group of families and voice-alert smoke detectors. She found that kids who slept through blaring smoke detectors responded far better to voice commands. There are some that are pre-program with simple phrases like “fire.” But there are also ones that you can buy that allow you to record your own voice and own message. The big question I had to ask was, “What kind do you use in your house.” To which I learned that firefighter (and mom) Tina uses both.
Be careful with Stop Drop & Roll – Everyone knows to Stop Drop and Roll, but Tina told us that when she visits with little ones one of the things that concerns her most is that they don’t understand when to Stop Drop and Roll. A room full of kids asked what to do if there is a fire will often reply Stop Drop and Roll, instead of getting out. She prefers to instruct young ones to drop to their knees and crawl out, saving Stop Drop and Roll for slightly older children.
Following our visit to the fire station, I got a voice alert smoke detector to put in my daughter’s room. Next up, making a family plan! Thank you to the fire station for hosting such a fun day filled with lots of great information.
More home fire safety tips from Home Depot (click to enlarge):
This post is brought to you by Home Depot, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.