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When we first moved into our new house, we were so excited to have a place we could call our own. We no longer had to answer to landlords, and we could decorate the house exactly how we wanted. Within our first two weeks in our home, we learned just how important a family emergency plan is. Since it’s National Fire Prevention Month, I want to make sure that you’re doing what you can to protect what matters. Sure, it’s important to spruce up your new home, but not before creating your family emergency plan.
You could have your family emergency plan put together in less time than it took me to tape these stripes in my new office!
Why It’s Important to Have a Family Emergency Plan
It was not quite Spring, but we scored a great deal on some produce at the grocery store so we bought it in bulk. We’re big fans of preserving food so that we can enjoy produce no matter the time of year. We spent the entire day and night canning on our stove. It was a little after midnight that we finished up, and so I went through the process of turning off all of the lights in the house so we could go to bed.
As I pass by the hallway closet, I hear a very faint noise—it was almost inaudible. I thought I was hearing something, but it was just enough to make me question my sanity. Was I really hearing something, I thought. I opened the closet door and could just make out, “DANGER, CARBON MONOXIDE, DANGER, CARBON MONOXIDE.”
The noise was coming from a moving box that was taped shut in the closet. In it, we found our Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm screaming at us. We hadn’t had the time to unpack all of our boxes!
We got all of the pets and children out of the house and called 911 and let the operator know that our carbon monoxide alarm was going off. The fire department came and took readings—sure enough, the levels of carbon monoxide in our house were very dangerous. They spent the next several hours with all of the windows and doors open with enormous fans blowing everything out.
The carbon monoxide had been coming from a faulty burner on our gas stove. I hate to think what would have happened if we went to bed that night without checking to see what the noise in the closet was. That wasn’t the first time we had used a Kidde product. In fact, when my husband and I moved into our first place together, we quickly found out that the oven was broken after we put tortillas in the oven for two minutes.
We saw flames shooting up through the top of the stove and smoke filled the air. I was bewildered because I had the oven set to only 200 degrees, these tortillas shouldn’t have caught fire. After using our Kidde Fire Extinguisher to put out the flames, we cleaned the oven and purchased a portable oven thermometer. The oven was faulty—it was reading 485 degrees instead of 200.
None of these things are likely to happen to you, but it’s still important to help prevent fires and the problems with carbon monoxide. Get the entire family on board with feeling safer by working together on your family emergency plan.
Follow these tips for creating a family emergency plan for your new home:
Test new-to-you equipment before using to ensure it works properly, such as ovens, microwaves, and other appliances
Have a Kidde Fire Extinguisher on each level in your home—particularly in the kitchen, laundry room, and garage
Have a binder with important phone numbers, social security cards, birth certificates, and important account numbers so you can grab it and go in the event of an emergency
Practice an evacuation plan with your family monthly
Install Kidde Escape Ladders in several windows above the first floor
Have, at minimum, four weeks of food and water stored for each member of your family, plus pets
Keep a list of all medications each family member takes, their dosages, and original bottles
Get Kidde Combination Smoke Alarm/Carbon Monoxide alarms—you can find these at The Home Depot pretty easily
Family Emergency Plan Bottom Line
No matter if you’ve got a brand new house or renovating the one you’ve got now, take some time to go over your family’s emergency plan. Make sure that everyone is on-board and understands their role in the plan. The time you take today can help prevent problems later on.
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