I've had fire safety on my mind for the past 24 hours, and I just can't shake it.
Yesterday evening I started thinking about what kind of property loss we would suffer if we had a house fire. Our computers are in "transition" right now as we move files over from our old PC to our new iMac. We have an external hard drive that is backing up everything in the meantime. But we haven't been able to figure out how to have our online auto-backup system, backup the external hard drive. So right now our electronic files (including YEARS of pictures) are completely vulnerable.
Then I started thinking about how it's been probably six months since we've had a fire drill with the kids. At their young age, I feel like we need to be having drills at least twice a year, if not more, since their level of understanding is constantly changing. So I made a mental note to do one soon.
I also had the thought that as our family gets bigger, so does the chance that an accident could happen. Someone could forget they left something on. Someone could stick something where they shouldn't. Someone could get distracted while cooking and walk away from the stove. Also, our appliances are forced to work harder and longer. We've all heard that we shouldn't leave appliances running while we're out of the house or sleeping. But with a large family, is that really feasible? In fact, about three nights ago we went to bed with the bread machine on, and in the middle of the night I heard a loud crash. The machine had wiggled itself closer and closer to the edge of the counter, until it finally fell to the floor. While plugged in and mid-cycle.
So I had all this on my mind as I went to sleep last night. Then it happened.
I woke up this morning to the SMOKE ALARM.
I shot out of bed and found Biniam downstairs fanning the smoke detector. He had burned his breakfast.
I growled at him and went back to bed. But the adrenaline in me kept me from falling back asleep. So I got to thinking and realized that none of the three little kids got out of bed to see what was wrong. And then I remembered this video, showing how kids usually don't respond to smoke alarms, but rather their parent's voices.
Click here to see the video.
Lastly, in my usual rounds of blog reading I came across this post this morning.
That's it. Too many signs for me to ignore. I am now making sure that THIS WEEKEND we take care of the following:
1. Research and purchase a voice-recording smoke alarm.
2. Run through a fire drill with the kids.
3. Get our online file backup system back up and running.
4. Organize our fire safe and take out things that don't need to be in there, and make room for things that do.
5. Walk through the house with the Flip video camera and document every room and it's belongings, taking note of things like upgrades we've made to the house and specific items in each room. Then make sure the video is stored on our backup system, as well as some place like my private YouTube account.
This will certainly keep me busy this weekend. And hopefully it's one of those things that I won't actually ever need. But catastrophes can happen to anyone, at any time. Brian's parent's house burned down about 15 years ago. Thankfully no one was home, but they still lost most of their belongings. And you know what likely started that fire? A common Dust Buster that was plugged into the wall.