Several weeks ago I used the power of song to teach my boys important information like my phone number, how to spell their last name, and our home address. Last weekend we tested this information during a family fire drill, something I do with them about twice a year.
They were in the middle of playing when I started to make a loud alarm beeping noise. Mr. 7 year old immediately knew what was going on and rallied his brother to get out of the house and run to our designated meeting area (a neighbor’s tree that they can get to without crossing the street). “Forget your shoes, little brother! Just run!!”
We follow the American Red Cross guidance and review:
- Our designated meeting place
- How to exit the house from their bedroom while staying low and blindfolded
- What the smoke alarm sounds like
- How to call 911 from our house phone and cell phones
- What you would say to the 911 dispatcher (e.g., what’s the emergency, parents’ full names, how to spell our last name, our address, etc.)
- How to feel the door to see if it’s hot and what to do if it is
- Do NOT hide!
- What firefighters may look like with all their gear on and a mask
Now, I’m not painting a picture of doom and gloom with the kids so they expect a fire. There have been no nightmares or irrational fears following these drills. They are a conversation and make believe. They know it’s a serious topic, but I don’t aim to make it scary.
I forgot the whole stop, drop, and roll bit, so I’ll have to review that with them. We also have an escape ladder (thanks, Mom and Dad!), but we haven’t reviewed that with the kids either. Next time!
All in all, the whole exercise took about 10 minutes to do and made me feel better that we are prepared for a possible fire emergency.