Monday, March 28, 2016

Saved By Smoke Detectors

Saved by the Smoke Detector

The value of a smoke detector cannot be overstated. I bring this up today because if it were not for smoke detectors, my daughter, her husband and their three children would have died, not to mention the two dogs that were also in the house. In this case, it saved five people and two dogs. No, it didn’t save their belongings or even their house. Those things are too far-gone I fear. But no big deal.

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly would have rather my grandchildren to have awakened on Easter morning to their Easter baskets and then getting dressed in their Easter clothes. Instead, they were awakened by the sound of smoke detectors and a mother screaming to the two oldest to come down the stairs and grabbing the youngest one up in a bundle to rush them out of the door. The point is, all of those “things” can and will be replaced. Those precious, beautiful lives cannot be.

I cannot count the number of times on my fingers that I have heard of whole families dying in a horrific fire who did not have working smoke detectors or simply didn’t have them at all. My bet is that they probably didn’t have an escape plan either. Nothing can prepare you for something like this to happen, even being surrounded by fire fighters all your life, as was my daughter. Fire doesn’t discriminate, it happens and you can’t turn the clock back when it does. Fire is indescribably relentless and faster than most things you can fathom. Don’t chance it! Fire prevention is the key to saving lives.

Here are some fire prevention tips:

Make sure that your children have listened when they are taught about how to react if they are involved in a fire. Basic fire survival skills are taught in every school that I am aware of.

Have at least one WORKING smoke detector for each floor of the house.

Have at least two escape routes for everyone in the house and have drills as often as you can so that everyone understands what to do.

Have a place to meet outside in case you have to leave the house separately. This will help when fire crews show up as well so they know that everyone is accounted for. They have enough to do without searching for people in a burning house when everyone is already out.

Sleep with bedroom doors closed. If a fire breaks out, feel the door to be certain that it is not hot. If it is hot, DO NOT open it. Use the second escape route to get out of the house safely.

Remember the stop, drop and roll rule.

Keep as cool and collected as possible so that you can think clearly enough to herd everyone out to safety. Getting hysterical can easily lead to lost lives as well. And for crying out loud, memories are important, but they aren’t as important as your life. Leave everything! If you are all that daggone concerned about photos or other memories, put them in a safe place, including important papers you may need. (A safety deposit box comes to mind). Fire spreads far too quickly to think about anything but getting everyone out to safety.

Keep an extra set of clothes to include shirts, jackets, pants, socks, shoes, underwear, either in the car or someplace outside (such as a shed) when possible.

 The kitchen

 The bathroom

Where the two oldest children sleep. Up the stairs and to the right and left of this photo.

Where the youngest child slept.

I want to take this time to thank all the firefighters and other emergency crews who were at my daughter’s and her husband's home. Not only did five fire companies come to help put out the blaze, they also saved one of the dogs who went under the bed because she was afraid. I do not know who all was at the scene yesterday morning, but I believe the Red Cross and possibly the Ladies Auxiliary.  I greatly thank you for getting shoes and socks for my grandchildren and thank you to whoever gave them blankets so they could keep warmer. It was very cold out that morning. To Crystal Darr and her mother for everything they did quickly to help the family get what they needed, thank you so much. Thank you to Joey’s mother (my daughter’s husband's mother) for taking the three kids so they could get rest, get warm and maybe get their minds a little off what they had just experienced. And also for making sure they had a normal Easter day, as normal as possible anyway. That was just amazing. Last but not least, thank you to everyone who stepped up to the plate and offered food, clothing, shoes, toys, money and gift cards. My daughter and her family have a great support system because of their kind nature and the fact that they are good friends and family, therefore, they have good friends and family to support them when they need it most. What a great outpouring of love, caring and kindness! And thank God for making certain that these five and the two dogs survived the night.

Thank you all for listening to my ramblings and thank you all for all that you have done. A Go Fund Me account was set up by Michelle Main (thank you, Michelle for thinking of this!) to help replace some of the children’s things that they need. Thank you in advance for helping my daughter and her family in their greatest time of need.

Sincerely and with Great Gratitude,
Dawn Hawkins

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment while staying on topic.