Many of you know that I had a fire in our home back in February 2013. This experience was so sudden and was something that I was completely unprepared for even though I thought I was prepared. Luckily for my family the fire was small and contained and did not spread throughout our home.
This experience however has made me rethink how prepared I am as well as how prepared my family is for experiences such as this. I was excited to meet up with some people from Kidde while attending a past Dad 2.0 Conference and after this experience happened I asked them if we could work together to get the word out preparing families for fires that may happen at home….and they were more than willing to assist!
In talking to the folks at Kidde, that gave me three steps that they recommend to help you make a safer home for you and your family. These three steps include (Content below provided by Kidde):
Step 1 – Fire extinguishers can create a pathway to safety:
- Keep an extinguisher in every part of your home where fire might occur-especially in the kitchen, living room and laundry room. Need help choosing a fire extinguisher?
- Read the instructions and know how to use your extinguishers before a fire breaks out.
- The only time a fire extinguisher should be used to fight a fire is when the fire is small, self-contained, not spreading rapidly, the fire department has been notified, there is a clear exit behind the person using the extinguisher, and the extinguisher is used to create a safe pathway out of the home.
- Respect all fires, regardless of size. Fire extinguishers are one part of a fire response plan. The main objective is safe escape.
- Inspect your fire extinguisher gauge monthly and replace your extinguisher if the gauge reads empty (see illustration below); replace any fire extinguisher more than 12 years old regardless of the gauge reading.
- For more information on maintaining and using a fire extinguisher, download Kidde’s Fire Extinguisher Fact Sheet.
Fire extinguishers can easy to find online or at your local store. Know you’re safe – install Kidde fire extinguishers today.
Step 2 – Smoke alarms provide vital early warning of fire danger.
- Install a smoke alarm in every room including basements and finished attics, in each bedroom and hallways outside of every sleeping area, and at the top and bottom of stairways. Need help choosing a smoke alarm?
- Make sure everyone knows what the smoke alarm sounds like.
- Test your smoke alarms frequently and change the batteries as needed.
- Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.
Smoke alarms are easy to find online or at your local store. Know you’re safe – install Kidde smoke alarms today.
Step 3 – Prepare and practice a home escape plan.
Practice two ways out of every room to mimic the most difficult fire situation you might encounter. Be sure to practice your escape plan during the day and at night.
Assign an adult to wake and assist each child in the house. Also consider lending extra help to family members who are physically challenged or elderly.
Identify a meeting place outside the home. Practice, practice, practice—at least twice every year.
One other thing that I was worried about was the fact that we live in a two-story walkout which means that our oldest daughter has about a two-story drop from her window to get out of the house. I had been considering getting a ladder for her to have in her room, and was excited to find that Kidde offered such a ladder for larger homes. They actually have escape ladders for two or three story homes which is perfect for my home.
The final thing that our family decided to do was to make sure that we had a family meeting place set so that everyone knows where we will meet in case there ever is a fire within our home. This is so important because when a fire does occur things can become very hectic and scary, especially for kids, so it is important that a family as a meeting place to provide peace of mind for all in the family as well as to let firefighters know if there’s anyone still left in the house. To do this I ended up utilizing the Kidde Escape Plan Worksheet that they have on their website to help us all see first how we all would get out of the house, but then walking through how we would get to our meeting place as well.
I definitely still have some things that I need to do to be able to make sure that my home and my family is ready in case the river is another fire in our home, but I feel even more prepared now after talking with the experts at Kidde that I am definitely more ready than I was before my personal experience.
All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclaimer for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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