Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Creating an exit strategy

My son wants to live with the firefighters. He has told me numerous times about his plans to live at the fire station and be in charge of fixing the trucks with special tools. He told me he doesn't want to fight the fires, but he does want to be able to slide down the pole.

We talk about how firefighters are heroes, we visit our fire station on its open house days and he's been a fireman for Halloween (twice!). We've even covered Stop, Drop and Roll basics. But we've never talked about the escape plan for our home should we have a fire.

And that is a huge miss on my part that I have no excuse for. When I was young our house actually did catch fire, and we had to evacuate. My Mom, who was the only one home with me at the time, was very calm, so I stayed calm, too. (Thanks, Mom!) You would think that I would have made fire evacuation plans a priority as a parent, but so far, no.

The Red Cross recently released poll results showing that less than one in five families have practiced an escape plan, and only one third have identified a safe place to meet outside the home. 

So, that is something to work on. I want my son to know the basics - how to stay low and how to get out of the house, but I don't want to scare him. And I'm pretty sure that is a fine line.

Does your household have safety drills? If so, how do you explain them to your children without creating unwarranted fears? Share with me in the comments.

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