Friday, June 15, 2012

A Public Safety Announcement

So last night I woke suddenly to a loud booming sound.  It sounded like someone was breaking into the house and I shook JMan frantically awake and we grabbed the baseball bat.  Then we heard more exploding sounds and heard screaming.  From the window you could see a large orange glow on the other side of the house that faces our backyard.  Then you could see FLAMES AS HIGH AS A TWO STORY HOUSE.  More booming and screaming and exploding. 

We called 911 and joined the rest of the neighborhood outside - it appeared that the people and their dogs were safe.  We realized that the exploding was fireworks - apparently there was a bunch in the garage and they kept exploding with a shower of sparks.  The flames were seriously HUGE, the biggest fire I've ever seen.  Finally a firetruck showed up and then 3 or 4 more and an ambulance.  It took probably an hour to put out. 

This isn't the real house but is similar to what it looked like.  I've never seen a real fire like this in real life before and it was horrible.  source

So scary and terrifying.  I drove past this morning and I didn't linger because someone was out front and I felt so terrible for them, but the garage is completely scorched.  The rest of the outside looks fairly untouched but I'm sure it's not totally that way on the inside because I could see flames on the inside in the entry way 2nd story.  Anyway, absolutely terrifying.  I feel so terrible for that family, and can't help but think what if that happened to us.

But I think its a good thing to have a plan.  And I think you should have a plan too.  So think about it.  What would you do if there was a fire?

  1. Prevention is obviously key.  That's not really the focus of my public safety announcement but don't leave fires unattended, be careful with portable heaters and candles, don't smoke for a 1,000 different reasons, and be careful in the kitchen. 
  2. Make sure your smoke detectors works and has fresh batteries, and test them periodically.  A good practice is to change the batteries during fall back / spring forward instead of waiting for that annoying pestering beeping.
  3. Do you sleep above ground level?  Then you need a plan.  Do you have a ladder?  We don't, but we probably need one.  I think we could hang from the window and jump and not end up too badly.  But I don't know how we would get Cooper out safely and we need to think about that more.
  4. Do you have fire extinguishers handy?  We have two in the house, but we need to keep one in the bedroom so it's handy in case we need it during the night. 
  5. If you have kids PRACTICE fire drills just like we do at work and they do at school. 
  6. Remind yourself of those tactics you learned in elementary school: stop, drop and roll; crawl; touch the door (not the door knob) to gauge if it's safe to leave a room or not. 
This obviously isn't really relevant but writing this post reminded me of McGruff.  Remember him?

And this is the conclusion to your public safety announcement.  I'm feeling serious about this so that's why you got my one and only serious post of the year.  Come back next year for another one. 

Do you have anything to add to this list?