Take some of the scare out of home emergencies by planning a safety night. Your kids will get the information they need, and you can explore safety lessons together in a relaxed environment.
Many fire departments offer free safety information, so in addition to reviewing the ideas below, ask about ways you can keep your family safe. Then set aside a night to have fun and discuss safety.
Smoke detector check. If you don't have smoke detectors, purchase them. If you do, determine whether the batteries are working. Make sure that everyone knows where the smoke detectors are located and how they sound.
Carbon monoxide detectors are recommended for homes with gas-burning appliances. Make sure detectors work and your family knows how they sound.
Home escape plan. Draw a diagram of your home. Talk about reasons you would need to leave your house, such as a fire or gas leak. Have children draw all of the ways to safely exit the house.
Outside location. Decide on a meeting place that is a safe distance from your house. Then practice exiting the house from different locations and meeting there.
Electrical problems. Take your family on a home tour. Look for overloaded electrical outlets and cords that run under rugs or show signs of wear. Contact a certified electrician if you locate wiring problems.
Combustible storage. Ensure that combustible material is not stored within three feet of any flame-producing appliance.
Inside location. Talk about reasons — such as an approaching tornado — you would need to find a safe place inside your house. Store blankets and bottled water there. Let family members draw routes on the home diagram from each room and practice meeting at this safe place.
Conclude your family safety night by enjoying a treat to celebrate that you are all together and safe.
This article first appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Ted Collas. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
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