Remember the Fire Safety Day we had about 6 months ago?
Well, I have been thinking that we needed to have another one. Partly because I asked the twins what they do if their smoke alarm goes off and they looked at me with completely blank expressions. Partly because the tree where they are supposed to run and wait for us is gone. The neighbors removed it this summer.
Last night we ended up having a real, live fire drill. Here are some things we learned:
- If we are watching tv when the smoke alarms go off, Lucas will assume (for several minutes) that it is happening on the tv. It will only be when the actors go too long without responding (while his wife is racing toward the children's room) that he will realize it is for real.
- Our system is the best kind in that it is set off by particles of any kind floating through the detector. The down side of this is that the new humidifier we got for the sick twinners will set it off.
- All of the alarms in our system are connected, so when one goes off they all go off. In the absence of smoke (and considering we didn't know that they were connected before) it can be difficult to tell which alarm is the trigger. The good news is that now we know to look for the flashing light that lets us know which is the offending alarm.
- Our alarms are awesome and cannot (I repeat, CANNOT) be turned off simple by waving a hand, towel, or blowing a fan at them. Once on, you either evacuate the house or turn the system completely off.
- Our alarms are wired into our electricity. This means that turning the system completely off means that we have to flip the circuit breaker AND take the battery out of the offending alarm. Something we did not previously know.
- It doesn't matter if the alarm goes off for ten minutes (because it took us that long to figure out which alarm and how to get it off) - causing temporary deafness in me and Lucas - or if Lucas and I argue loudly about what to do. The twins will sleep through all of it.
I supposed I can't complain about a fire drill where everything happens as if there was danger, when there is actually no fire, smoke, or anything to cause true alarm. It was a great opportunity for us to learn the ins and outs of our alarm system (and be relieved that it is literally the best I could hope for). It was good for me to see how everyone responds to an alarm (especially the twins) to have a better idea of what to expect in the event of an actual emergency. Now it is time to start planning our next fire safety day armed with better information...