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I need help with a fire drill.......

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by sbstudley, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. sbstudley


    Apr 2, 2002
    My 6 year old daughter (37 pounds) has been asking me if we can do a fire drill. The problem I am having is if she is in her room and there is a fire she cannot physically open the window or remove the screen. Any recomendations would be much appreciated.

    Where can I get some information on home fire drills?

  2. DepChief

    DepChief Get Tous's Rope

    Nov 27, 2004
    Outer Banks, NC
    Home Fire drills are a great idea and should be practiced by the entire family. Some ideas you might want to discuss with all your family members are:

    1. Smoke Detectors - Make sure you have at least one working smoke detector on every level of your home and one outside all sleeping areas. Let your daughter and all your family help you test the smoke detectors at least once a month and make sure the batteries are changed every 6 months. It is also advisible to run a vacuum cleaner over each smoke dectector every few months to remove the dust that builds up in the detectors and can delay their activation.

    2. Draw a diagram of your home and try to find 2 ways out of each room in your home. These exits can be doors or windows. Have each family member draw the escape routes from their own rooms.

    3. Set a meeting area outside your house that all family members will meet at once they have left the house. This area should be a safe distance from the house such as a mailbox or neighbors driveway. Practice your escape drill with the entire family and make sure everyone knows where to meet. Also, if there is smoke in the house or you suspect a fire inside your home, DO NOT call 911 from in your house, go to a neighbors house to call 911 once all family members have reached the safe area.

    4. When practicing your escape drill with your family, make sure that your daughter and any other family members practice crawling out of bed and down onto the floor if they hear the smoke detector. The smoke will rise and the breathable air will be close to the floor. Make sure your family members know to stay as low as they can once out of their beds and while they exit the house. Teach your daughter to feel her bedroom door (from inside her room) with the back of her hand (more sensative than the palm)to feel for heat. If the door feels hot, to her to make sure she dosen't open the door for any reason, unless you or another family member tell her to from the outside of the door. Have her move towards her bedroom window. If your bedrooms are on a second floor or higher, you might want to consider installing "Fire Escape Ladders" on the outside of your house. Tell her that when the firefighters arrive at your home, they can get her out faster if she is waiting by a window and NOT to hide under a bed or inside a closet.

    5. Sit down with your family and let them help you make this fire escape plan, then make sure you practice it so that everyone knows what to do when a fire occurs.

    Your local fire department should have more information on what to do in the event of a fire and how to make your own escape plans. If you would like some litature on fire safety, please email me at the address below and I would be happy to send you some, and some fire safety coloring books for your children. I hope this helps.
    Email address:

    Be Safe, DepChief

  3. Tvov


    Sep 30, 2000
    Just concentrate on the crawling on the floor. This is common, a lot of kids can't open their bedroom windows. Also a lot of kid's room windows are designed not to be opened by kids.

    If and when you do a fire drill, make it FUN! Make it basically a game. One thing to do is the crawling drill at night, with all the lights out, and/or blind folded. Think you can find your way out of your house blind folded? This can turn into a fun game. Almost like any training, do it enough so that if anything happens, you will do it automatically.

    Also remind your family that the firemen will save any pets or valuables, don't delay leaving the house trying to get them.
  4. Check with your local FD. Many departments now have a "fire Safety House" that they do demos with. Its basically a miniature house on a trailer. They simulate smoke and firefighters lead kids through the process of finding their way out safely, keeping low, signaling rescuers from windows, and checking doors for heat before opening. And as with any kind of training it helps reduce the "panic factor" in a real situation. If your locals don't have one, they probably know of a neighboring department that does. And give your daughter a pat on the back for being smart enough to prethink this kind of stuff.:) :)
  5. obxprnstar

    obxprnstar Goth Lover

    Jan 8, 2003
    Zombie Patrol
    Also along these lines, call your local FD and set up a time when you can bring your kid by. Remember, most firefighters may look grown up, but are still kids so it should not be a problem for them to show her the equipment they use, etc. Most parents are shocked when I will put the kid in my boots, let them play with my helmet, jacket, or fire them up into the front seat of the engine. To me, its no big deal, it's getting the kid comfortable with some of the stuff, plus they have a blast.

    The biggest thing though, is see if one of them can put on their turnouts, along with an air pack, and hae them go on air for a few minutes. When we go into daycares for fire saftey week, I tell the kids that I am like sully from monsters inc. In the turnouts and pack I may look and sound scarry, but that it is really just me under all of that stuff. Then I will explain to them how it protects me, and will chat with them while I am still in full turnouts. The idea is to get them over the "fear factor" of the firefighter being in all of that gear, and that they know he/she is there to help her.

    Good luck
  6. KD5MSY


    Oct 21, 2002
    East Texas
    dont forget to let them know that if there is a fire out side of they door to their room, and they can't get the window open, no to hide in closets or under beds! This slows things down a bit. Tell them to get next to a wall away from the heat and stay low. Fire fighters always keep one hand to a wall and follow it around when visibility is low.

    stay safe and have fun.
  7. sbstudley


    Apr 2, 2002
    We did our fire drill today and it was very insightfull for all of us to get on the same page. Now the wife and I know what we will do if we have to. We plan on doing this again in the future and I will contact our local F.D. for a visit.

    We feel much better knowing that we have a game plan. Before your advice I did not know where to start.

    May God keep you and your loved ones all safe and sound
    The Studley family