Last week, at our Parish Staff Meeting, we had the opportunity to play fireman. The expiration dates were up on some of the office fire extinguishers, so our head of maintenance took the opportunity to bring in a fire safety consultant to do an inservice on fire extinguishers.
I have low "meeting tolerance" so I thought it was going to be boring, but I actually learned a great deal. Best of all, we each had the chance to actually practice with an extinguisher, aiming at an imaginary fire and practicing our skills. I learned that the extinguisher in my home has less than ten seconds worth of use and that if handled incorrectly it can be anything from useless to dangerous.
I immediately came home and checked the location and condition of our extinguisher in the kitchen. The boys and I also went through a practice and drill (although they didn't actually shoot off the extinguisher). Since they both do a great deal of cooking, I feel like it's essential that they know what to do in the event of a stove fire. I hope you will take some time this week with your family to review your fire safety checklist. Double check your smoke detectors, review escape plans, and check on the functionality of your fire extinguishers. Most of us think, "I'll get around to it soon" and never do this - but it's essential that we as moms take care of business like this in our homes. For additional information, please check out the following helpful links:
- Kids Health Fire Safety
- FireExtinguisher.com - The ABCs of portable fire extinguisher selection, use and maintenance
Hopefully, discharging a fire extinguisher is a skill I'll never need to know, but I'm happy to have had the reminder that every second counts when dealing with fire and our family's safety.