A few weeks ago (or a month) we visited the fire station with the moms group. I think I forgot to post about that. Fail.
Well, they watched a video that suggested that we should be doing fire drills at home. At first I thought, "Really? At this age I'm trying to keep them confined, not teaching them all the ways to get out." But, the more I thought about it, the more I started to think it was a good idea. What if I was injured, or couldn't get to them, or the furnace (which sits under our bedroom) exploded? My children had the best chance of survival if they knew what to do. Then we attended a fire safety dinner that, quite frankly, scared the bejeebers out of me and I decided that we needed to have a fire safety day right away...as in the next day.
Hooray! It's Fire Safety Day!
You know me and theme days. I love them! I wish I would have had more time to put some things together. I would have reserved books and materials from the library, collected some fun items, maybe done some shopping and purchased things (like fire blankets, which I'm currently convinced I need). But I pulled together what I could.
We started after their morning quiet time with snacks and a few kid-friendly fire safety videos from youtube!
From the videos I wanted 3 things: 1) pictures of firemen in full gear. I had heard it could be scary for little kids to see them like that and many hid. I wanted my kids to know it was helpful firemen inside! 2) both real and cartoon kids acting out the steps I was going to teach them 3) a catchphrase or two I could use for later training to connect it all.
After videos we began practicing our fire drill.
They started in bed, pretending they were asleep.
I would push the test button of the smoke detector in their room and they would jump to action!
Test the doorknob with the back of the hand to see if it's hot.
For the most part, we practiced what to do if the doorknob wasn't hot (as you will see below). Why? Well, because we keep our windows locked, and even with a step-stool I couldn't get them tall enough to unlock them. And if they could unlock them, our windows are heavy, and they wouldn't be sturdy enough on the step stool to get the leverage they need to open it. And if they did open it, we have screens on the window that are tricky to pop out. And that would require such herculean effort that they would probably be too tired to get out. But they needed an option if the doorknob was too hot, right? Well, we practiced that too (with a heating pad to warm up the doorknob and everything!). I taught them to jam their blanket under the door to stop the smoke, and beat on the window yelling, "We're in here!" until someone came. Not the best solution, but better than nothing, and the best I have until they are a little bigger...
Stay low and go, go, go!
The biggest thing was teaching them to open the front door. It's heavy, and it sticks. Sometimes it's even a little tricky for me to get open. But I taught them how to push with one hand against the wall while pulling the door handle, and we practiced a million times, so I think they have it!
Hold the door for each other - I taught them to work together.
Run to our meeting spot!
Hold onto the tree. Stay there until mommy and daddy come. Don't go back into the house for anything!
They loved it. They are at the age where they love to repeat something over and over - which was perfect! I know the number of times we repeated was well into the double digits! I finally convinced them we should practice something else, so we switched to stop, drop, and roll!
In the afternoon we made cookies for our local firefighters. The twins just happened to paint a couple dozen card-sized, watercolor paintings yesterday, so we turned them into cards! I taught them to say, "Thank you for being heroes," and we took them in. It was so cute!
The firemen were wonderful. They talked to the twins about what they learned, showed them the firetrucks and ambulances, let them see their gear, and then gave them fire hats! I wanted to at least get a picture of the twins with the main fireman we spent time with, but I forgot both my camera and my phone! Fail! We also went to the library to pick out the 1 fire safety related book they have there.
By the end of the day, they were getting a little silly...
Hopefully, we never have to use the things we practiced today, but at least I feel more confident in my children's ability to stay safe if there was a fire. They might not remember everything, but between the 2 of them, I'm sure they could do a pretty good job :) Next on the emergency preparedness list...tornado drills? We are entering that season...