Archive for the ‘Family Home Evening’ Category

Do Your Kids Know What to Do?

September 10, 2013


Every Monday night, my wife and I gather our kids together for a night we call “Family Home Evening.”  Essentially, because we know our lives are too chaotic and way too busy we set aside Monday nights as family time. We often have short lessons to help our kids grow into better people, play games, or talk about important issues affecting our family or our community.

One Monday, about a year ago, my wife and I decided to have a fire drill of sorts. In the middle of our Family Home Evening, without any warning to our kids, we turned on the fire alarm. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! It didn’t stop. The piercing noise was loud and frightened our kids more than I had expected. Soon, after we were able to calm them, we helped our kids to know what to do and where to go if there ever was a real fire.  We practiced a few times and eventually they seemed to feel comfortable with the plan. Their initial chaotic and panicked response turned to reasoned and orderly determination.  I was so happy we took just a few moments to plan and prepare them for something I hope never happens.  That was over a year ago.

Yesterday, I was watching the news before dinner and saw this  segment on KGW News Channel 8: Family Escapes Forest Grove Fire. To sum up the story, a refrigerator caught fire in the garage and burned into the attic. The mother and her four children were able to escape the home and met at the mailbox across the street–just like they had practiced several times before. Proper planning may have saved the lives of any of these young children.

Did you know that each year over 4,000 people die in house fires each year.  Over 500,000 residential house fires are reported each year to fire departments across the country. On average, that’s over 10,000 house fires per state!

My kids are young. Caden is 8, Hannah is 5. Jaxon is only 3.  He probably doesn’t even remember the night we practiced the fire escape plan. We’re probably due for a refresher course. It’ll be good for them (a small part of me wants to see the look of terror on their faces again) and good for us as a family. I’d urge you, especially if you have young children, to make a family escape plan, and make sure everybody knows what to do and where to go if there is a fire in your house. It doesn’t take but an hour or so one evening, and its good quality family time–missing Monday Night Football won’t hurt too badly. I promise.

Hopefully you’ll never need it. But if you do, you can thank me later.


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