If you're still reeling from the extremely emotional Super Bowl episode of This Is Us, which finally showed viewers how beloved dad and husband Jack Pearson died, you're not alone. After surviving the massive fire that destroyed their family home due to a faulty old Crock-Pot, Jack passed away at the hospital after suffering a heart attack brought on by smoke inhalation. But as devastating as the episode was, it also sheds light on a neglected topic for most families: fire safety plans.
If you have never talked through a fire plan with your family, chances are you're assuming that everyone would know what to do, which most definitely isn't true. Even if your kids are older and you think they can handle it, it's impossible to know how anyone will react in a state of panic and shock. That's why it's crucial to come together as a family and plan a course of action based on your specific home's layout. Here are the most beneficial tips on how to implement and execute a fire safety plan for your family.
- Draw a floor plan of your home with your children and inspect each room to identify two escape routes. Make sure to check that all doors and windows can easily be opened if necessary.
- If you live in a multistory home, stock your home with collapsible ladders that have been evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory (e.g., Underwriters Laboratory).
- Make sure you have fire alarms in each sleeping room of the home and check them every six months to make sure they're all working.
- Plan multiple exit strategies with your family members and have a practice drill on how to escape every six months.
- Rehearse emergency phone calls with your children so they understand who to call in case of a fire. Also help your children memorize their address and emergency contact numbers.
- Practice stop, drop, and roll with your kids along with other safety measures to take in a fire.
- Designate a meeting point for your family (such as a neighbor's house) in case everyone has to exit separately.
- Stress that stuff is not important. As long as everyone is out of the house safely, there is never any need to go back into the house to grab material things.