The Woodland Fire Department visited The Eucalyptus classroom at WMS last week and presented their annual tips on fire safety.
Your child may have already discussed the key points with you, but I would like to share the information that was presented.
I know that it can be a bit uncomfortable to discuss disaster or evacuation plans with children, but the children (in Primary and Elementary) have regular fire drills, so they are familiar with the concept of a fire drill. And, (in some classes) there have been many discussions about the recent fires in Napa and Santa Rosa because some of the children’s families were personally affected by the fires.
Please use this information as an opportunity for your family to create and implement an evacuation/fire plan.
- Show your child how to call 911 from your landline and your cell phone. In addition, please help your child memorize your street address. Calling 911 from a landline will provide the dispatcher with your address, but the dispatcher does not receive this information when a call comes in from a cell phone.
- Change your smoke alarm batteries twice a year. The fire department recommends changing them in the fall and spring to correspond with daylight savings time.
- Make sure that the windows in all bedrooms are accessible and can be opened by your child. The fire department recommends that there not be furniture or large items in front of bedroom windows so that they can be used as an escape route. The children were instructed about the ways they can notify the fire fighters that they are trapped in their bedroom. Your child can open a 1st floor window and evacuate him/herself, and your child can open a 2nd floor window and yell as loud as possible to get the attention of the fire department.
- We learned about stop, drop, cover, and roll which is what to do if you are on fire. Stop (don’t run; it fuels the fire), drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands, and roll back and forth until the fire is gone.
- The safest place to be during a fire is close to the floor. This is where the air is healthiest. The children learned how to crawl to the doorway and check the back of the door for heat. If the door is cool, you can evacuate the room and leave the house immediately. A hot door means that you should not exit the room and should crawl to the window to either evacuate or notify the fire department of your presence.
- Choose a meeting spot outside of your house. This is the spot that all family members will meet if you have evacuated. The meeting spot should be relatively close (the neighbor’s driveway or mailbox, etc.) to your home.
- The children really love their pets (as do the adults) and were very concerned when they were told not to take their pets with them during an evacuation. Please discuss and arrange a plan for your pets if you need to evacuate.
- Finally, create an evacuation plan (meeting spot, check windows for accessibility, and have a plan for your pets) and practice your plan once a month so that it becomes routine for you and your child. Becoming familiar with the evacuation routine will make it much easier for everyone if you do need to evacuate.
This is lengthy and detailed, but I believe that it is important for your family to be prepared for an emergency.