My son Gray was so excited when he moved up from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. He started Cub Scouts in first grade and has talked about nothing but becoming an Eagle Scout ever since. He’s happy that they are now working on things that will help him achieve that goal.
In a July meeting, they started talking about fire safety; while it’s something they discussed briefly in Cub Scouts, this time they got deeper into the discussion and made the boys do several things on their own like draw a home fire escape plan, conduct a home fire drill, and locate and check the smoke detectors in our home. These are all things we should be doing on a regular basis, but if you are like me, they tend to get put on the backburner because the hecticness of life.
Given that it’s Fire Safety Week, I thought it might be a good time to help us all (me included) revisit our fire safety plan.
- Make sure all electrical cords are in good working order. Also, be sure that too many items aren’t plugged into one outlet.
- Have your furnace inspected and your fireplace inspected and cleaned before you start using them each season. Keep portable space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything flammable.
- Never leave a pot, pan, or skillet on the stove unattended. Cooking equipment is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
- Use caution when burning candles. Remember to never leave a burning candle unattended, to always place them on a non-flammable surface, to use containers that are large enough to hold the melted wax, to keep them out of the reach of children, to never burn a candle in a drafty area, and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on appropriate burn times.
- Provide the proper care and maintenance on your home dryer. For more information, check out this blog we posted in 2015.
- Check your fire extinguishers to make sure they are in working order. It’s a good idea to have several throughout your home and to also have more than one type.
- Test your smoke detectors once a month and replace their batteries twice a year. One way to remember to change the batteries is to do so when you change your clocks for spring and fall.
- Regularly practice your home escape plan, and if you don’t have one, then come up with one. Here’s a link to a great tool we used in our home: http://www.sparky.org/files/parents/tip/files/EscapeGrid.pdf
I am so thankful that my son is learning about fire safety. Truthfully, I know these things are important, but sometimes I forget to be vigilant in my efforts. As of this printing, we are up-to-date on all our fire safety requirements for Boy Scouts, and our home is a safer place thanks to Gray.