About 22 years ago, I attended a funeral I will never forget.
It was for a co-worker of my Dad’s. I didn’t know her. But she, her husband and her daughter’s lifeless bodies in three caskets in a row is an image burned in my memory.
It was right after Christmas when they all died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The father was found on the stairs, Christmas ornaments that he must have been carrying up to the attic, broken all around him.
The mom and daughter, just a few years younger than me, were in their beds.
It is because of this memory that I enthusiastically agreed to write a post on home safety, sponsored by Kidde Alarms. Safety is not something that should be taken lightly.
With us being in a new home, something Kidde made me realize is that we needed to make an emergency plan and do an emergency audit of our home. Elias has been talking about safety at school and it has amazed me how much he “gets it.”
We have been in our new home four months and had never tested the installed fire alarms. YIKES! Both functioned properly, thank goodness. Did you know that you are supposed to have smoke detectors in every room bedroom? We only have them in the upstairs and downstairs hallway and definitely will be getting more for the bedrooms.
Kidde offers worry-free alarms that detect both smoke AND carbon monoxide, which I think is brilliant. Their alarms also only use one battery for the life of the alarm to provide 24/7 fire safety protection, eliminating annoying low battery chirps and battery replacement. The alarms also have location-based attributes listed on the packages, making it easy to select the right alarm for the right area of your home. You can find these alarms at lots of stores including Home Depot. If you are in Nashville, you should go to the Safety Store at Monroe Carell Jr. Childen’s Hospital – they have all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms 50% off for the month of January.
A few safety tips from Kidde:
- Create an emergency exit plan with two escape routes and a designated meeting place outside the home, and have your family practice it at least every six months. (Download a free family emergency preparedness plan here.)
- Ensure all portable/space heaters are in safe working condition and placed at least three feet away from anything flammable, like furniture, curtains, clothing and paper.
- Ensure every family members knows the sound of your smoke alarm (particularly if you get a new one!).
- Place fire extinguishers throughout your home, including kitchens and bedrooms, and practice using it. If you haven’t replaced your extinguisher within the last 12 years, it’s time to buy a new one.
- Ensure your house number is visible from the street.
I really hope this post encourages your family to do a safety audit. I know it encourage us!
I’m curious – how many smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors do you have in your home? Does your family have an emergency plan?