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Five Safety Steps All Families Should Have in Place

five-safety-steps-all-families-should-have-in-placeEmergencies can be scary, especially for kids. But most of the fear stems from not knowing what to do. It’s important that you and your children are prepared in the event of an emergency. Here are five safety steps all families should have in place and tips to keep your family safe from the inside out.

Know How to Open Windows

While this may seem like common knowledge for a teenager, it can be very complicated for a child if they’ve never done it before. Teach them how to unlock the window, both locks if applicable, and show them how to open it. Demonstrate how to kick out or remove the screen, and show them how to climb out of the window to get to safety. This can be helpful for escaping fires or even break-ins.

Know How to Get Out of the Basement

Getting out of a basement with a door is simple, but if your emergency exit is a window with an escape ladder, it could be a little trickier for kids. Create a pretend emergency, and show your kids how to escape from the basement, with you taking the lead. Show them how to climb up the ladder, and how to get past the grate at the top of the window well. Once everyone has exited the basement, do it again. Repeat the pretend emergency, this time letting them be in charge. Reinforcing this exit plan every year will help to keep your family’s emergency procedures fresh in their minds.

Know How to Get Out of a Second Story Window

Whether you plan to use an emergency drop down ladder or another means to get out of the second story window, teach your children what they should do if they’re ever caught on the second floor in an emergency. Make sure when you practice this one, you emphasize how to do so safely.

Designate a Meeting Place

Designate a meeting place ahead of time, somewhere you can all plan to meet should you ever get separated from each other. This should be a place located away from power lines and other buildings that could also pose a safety hazard in an emergency.

Familiarize Everyone with the Alarms

If your house is equipped with an alarm or security system, make sure everyone knows how it works and what to do in an emergency or break in. You should also know some basic home alarm system troubleshooting so if technological issues arise, you’ll be prepared to handle them.

Know How to Call 9-1-1, Especially on Cell Phones 

Dialing 9-1-1 used to be a simple thing back in the day, but cell phones have made it more complicated. Add your child’s fingerprint to your cell phone so they can access it in an emergency, or show them how to locate the section for emergency calls only. Teach them how to navigate to the phone keypad, dial 9-1-1, and push the call button. Act out a pretend phone conversation, with you playing the 9-1-1 operator. Ask them for their address, their phone number, their parents’ names, anything that could be helpful in an emergency.

Knowing what to do in an emergency can keep you and your family safe. Follow these five safety steps and create a family emergency plan you can be proud of.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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