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Fire Escape-Your opinions please

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  • Fire Escape-Your opinions please

    It's normal that a Mom worry about getting her children out of the house if there should be a fire. But, if you could see how small my house is you'd probably understand why I worry more than, probably, the normal mother would.

    We have a 3 bedroom house, but my son's bedroom is on the first floor. The rest of us are upstairs. We have a small cape cod style home and the upstairs was refinished and is only big enough for two bedrooms that are not even separated by a hallway.

    The children had recently had fire prevention day where the local FD came in and explained to them how to get out of the house safely, etc. That's all well and fine, but in my house, if the fire is downstairs, my son who is 6 would have to learn how to get out of the house on his own or die should he become trapped and freak out.

    His bedroom is right near the stairs, but should the fire be in the stairway or near his door he has been taught to feel the door first, then if he can't get out and run up the stairs to meet the rest of us (or we can't get to him) he's to open his window and the screen and jump out and meet us across the street in the neighbor's yard. We've practiced this and he seems to do good at it. I would make a "fire" design on a piece of paper and hide it somewhere.

    The real big problem...our house is so small that if there were a fire downstairs, it would spread in an instant. There's only about 30 feet between one side of the house and the other. It's like a box. (We're trying to move because it's too small anyway..which is a good thing!).

    Should I keep my son downstairs? Should I put him in the same room as his sister who is 8? Bunkbeds? I think they're too old and need their privacy, but it would keep me from worrying. I can't move my bedroom downstairs because my bed won't even fit in my son's room. If there were a fire and we couldn't get upstairs to the kids, they'd have to put the metal escape ladder out the window themselves and they can't possibly even lift it.

    I'm just looking for your opinions. I know I probably worry too much, but that's my job.
    "It is easier for a king to have a lie believed than a beggar to spread the truth."---Robert Strecker

  • #2
    I don't think the boys first choice should be to go upstairs. That could be a fatal mistake.

    He should know to crawl out as fast as possible, but to never go upstairs. Heat, smoke and toxic gases rise to the highest level. Smoke and Toxic gas kill more people than fire.

    I too, have a 6 year old. We have trained what to do in case of a fire, and we have had several fire drills. I have done 3 in the middle of the night. My daughter could tell you exactly what to do, but the first time I did a drill at 3 am, setting off the smoke detector and yelling at her where the fire was (you know, since there was no real fire I had to create some stress and at the same time tell her where the pretend fire was, and how thick the smoke was, etc.) I would not allow her to turn on any lights, etc.

    She completely lost it and had no idea what to do. So we rehearsed some more, and now she handles it like a pro.

    You might also invite your FD to your house to make an inspection and make recommendations.
    "Speed is fine, but accuracy is final"--Bill Jordan

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    • #3
      I think the window is the best bet. Try putting a blingfold on him and keep practicing opening the window. I would probably be inclined to keep him on hte first floor.

      Of course when you move - you are going to have to reteach him since it will be a new envirnoment.

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      • #4
        that's a great idea, to invite a firefighter over here to take a look and see what the best option would be.
        "It is easier for a king to have a lie believed than a beggar to spread the truth."---Robert Strecker

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        • #5
          Since you would most likely be seperated in case of a fire, ou might want to get the kids whistles. Military surplus stores should have the survival whistles used in life rafts. They are very loud. If your son starts blowing his whistle, it'll be easy to find him when he gets out of the house, even if he forgets where your meeting point is.
          Paul

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          • #6
            All great ideas, thanks I will re-think our escape plan a little now.

            Hopefully we'll never have to worry and Lord only knows why I choose now to get an escape plan down. Probably because my son can now understand and follow directions pretty well. That's one thing I bet a lot of families out there don't have and that should. My family never had a fire escape plan in place, only a nuclear leak/disaster from the nuke plant down the road.
            "It is easier for a king to have a lie believed than a beggar to spread the truth."---Robert Strecker

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