This past Monday was a HUGE wake up call for me. As posted on my IG page that day…
“Some days you feel like the worst mom in the world. Today is one of those days for me.
Getting my boys into the car this morning I heard loud alarms and couldn’t figure it out. Until I saw the fire in my kitchen from the window.
Leaving the boys alone in the car I rushed in and froze at how to put it out. Thankfully my neighbor ran over and put a towel on it and it went out pretty quick. It took me a while to figure out how to turn off all the smoke detectors.
We were fine driving to school. Until I was not. I began to sob, thinking of all the ways I just failed in that moment.
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It was my fault for putting La’akea’s coloring page & markers on the stove.
It was my fault for somehow accidentally flipping on a burner.
It was my fault for not recognizing the sound sooner and knowing what to do.
My mind thought of all the scenarios this could have been way worse. Had I drove away a minute sooner, I could have come back to no home at all.
I. Have. So. Much. To be thankful for.
It’s days like these we hug our kids a little tighter. And maybe don’t stress about the small stuff.
The best I can do is learn from this so it never happens again.”
Here are 5 Tips you can use NOW
1. Assign multiple people to do a “check” before bedtime. Maybe it’s mom and dad or maybe you enlist one of your kids. Perhaps you can give them Fire Marshall duty. Here’s what I mean. If you light any candles or are BBQing at home, give a few people the task of checking that all heat is put out before going to bed for the night. If inside, do a sweep of the kitchen to make sure all burners have been turned off (that can go right along with making sure doors are locked). Get in the habit of checking! Trust me, it may seem common sense, but this can be a life saver.
2. Make sure you have smoke detectors in each room of the house and be sure they are up to date and have working batteries. Guys, I can’t stress this enough. If those smoke detectors hadn’t sounded, I would have drove away for school drop off and this story would be very very different.
3. Have a fire extinguisher located at your residence somewhere. While I’m usually pretty cool under pressure, I dropped the ball in this situation. I stared at the big flames on the stove and wasn’t sure of the best way to put it out. I know there are multiple ways to put out a fire. But I was scared and frozen in action. To be honest, I kind of fanned the flame because I was scared if I put something on it, it would catch fire too. Having an extinguisher available is a no-question way to put out most any fire. Great safety measure!This is the one I’m getting.
4. Exchange info with your neighbors. If I had drove away that morning and my neighbors witnessed the emergency at my house, they would not have been able to contact me to let me know. I wouldn’t have found out about the fire at my house until I came back that afternoon. Having each other’s numbers is a great way to have another set of eyes on your home, for any emergency
5. Have an emergency plan and talk about it with your family - kids included! Does your family have a plan of action for emergencies like fire, hurricane, or other disaster that might affect your area? Talking with your partner about who will be responsible for what in the event of an emergency will keep you prepared and more level-headed should something happen. Talking to your kids about the plan as well as fire safety, will give them more security in an emergency and knowledgeable of what they can do to help keep safe. Even for my boys who are 2 and 4, they know never to touch a fire and if they see one, to immediately come get help. Older kids can learn how to call 9-1-1. But having a solid emergency plan should be essential for every household- knowing safest exits, where the family will meet if separated, where the extinguisher is located, etc. Of course Emergency Kits are always safe to keep on hand.
Well, I hope this article offered some ways you can ensure your family is safe from any fire event and ready to enjoy a cool cool summer. I feel very fortunate our fire scare didn’t harm anyone and no major damage came to our home. I’m grateful to fantastic neighbors and will make sure our family has done all the things on this list as well.
Here’s to a safe and fun summer mamas!
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Malia was born and raised in Kaneohe, Hawaii and graduated from Azusa Pacific University. She spent the majority of her career as an Early Childhood Education Teacher/Administrator.