Thursday, March 10, 2011

Family Tragedy in Pennsylvania

On Tuesday night a PA dairy farming family experienced a tragedy, that I pray no one would have to experience. My heart goes out to the family and I pray that they will be able to cope and cling to their faith to get them through the loss of 7 children in a house fire. The mother was in the barn and the father was on his milk route when their 3 year old came to the barn to tell mom about the smoke. Until she got there it was too late and she tried to get help.

As my heart aches for the family, I used this as an opportunity to remind my boys about our fire escape plan and what we are to do. The thing was last night we had the opportunity to practice and we failed. I had boiled over something in the oven and forgot to clean it out. Gary lit the oven for supper and he went outside for a minute, when he came back in he said the kitchen was full of smoke, but it wasn't throughout the house. So I asked Garrett, our 4 year old, "What did you do?" He answered "I went to see if the smoke was in my bedroom." To this I just wanted to cry. I asked him what he should have done if he thought there was a fire in the house or even just smoke. He answered correctly, "Get out of the house." But that wasn't what he had done. He was curious, just like many 4 year olds.

We were lucky that all it took was to turn off the oven and open a few windows to air things out. But the grief that the family in Eastern PA is suffering, is something that none of us want to experience. So here are a few things to remind your families, and not just in October for Fire Safety month.

1. Check your fire alarms
2. Change batteries in those alarms - we change at each time change just to be safe!
3. Practice getting out of your house and make sure everyone knows where to meet at!
4. Try a fire drill in the middle of the night, and see if your children will wake up to the fire alarm and time them as to how long it takes to get to your meeting place. This was a post that I had earlier about these drills.
5. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher
6. Practice with the kids on a play phone (fines apply for fake calls) how to dial 911 and what information to be able to give. Full name, full address, full phone number and what the emergency is are the main things to know

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, but let's make sure that none of us are he next tragedy.

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