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Large Family Fire Safety: First Alert Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
A few weeks ago I was awakened at 4:15 by our smoke detector going off. I jumped out of bed, adrenaline coursing through my veins, opened my door, and saw no smoke or signs of fire. Next, I woke Chuck who said he heard the alarm but thought it was Jubilee’s alarm clock (?) I headed upstairs, checked every single room of our house and found no signs of fire. Chuck pushed the reset button on the smoke alarm, and I brewed the coffee because once I’m awake, I’m awake. There was no more sleep for me.
The same thing happened the next morning.
And the next.
Finally, Chuck decided to change the battery, despite the fact that the low battery chirping was not happening. The new battery fixed the problem. Sort of.
Could You Sleep Through a Smoke Alarm?
The scariest thing about this for me was the fact that not a single child woke up to the screeching smoke detector. And though Chuck heard it, in his sleep he ignored it, thinking it was an alarm clock. This really scared me.
I read a few years ago about how most kids won’t wake up to a smoke detector but wake up much better to a voice.
I realized we needed up upgrade in our smoke detectors.
We ended up with this 10-Year Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice Alerts. Not only do you not need to change the battery, but the voice alerts gives me peace of mind since I know kids are more likely to wake up to a voice than the alarm.
We actually had a small fire in our house about ten years ago. I wasn’t home, but Chuck managed to put the fire out and the kids all got outside and waited safely in the carport until Chuck gave them the all clear. The kids were already in bed and they did an amazing job of making sure every sibling was out of the house.
But none of that matters if no one wakes up and realizes there is a fire.
Installing this smoke alarm was so easy, it literally took Chuck five minutes. This one is installed in our living room and the other 10-Year Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm is installed in our downstairs hall.
The First Alert 10-Year Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice Alerts is great because there are no more expensive battery replacements, it is hassle-free (no need to dig out the ladder to change batteries) and no more of the annoying low-battery chirps.
Speaking of low battery chirps, Tilly told us she had to listen to her smoke alarm chirping for six weeks straight because she and Jared live in a rental in New Zealand and it is illegal for renters to touch their smoke alarms! There is no way I could sleep through a chirping smoke detector. I would have to move out of the house.
Large Family Fire Safety Tips:
Have a Plan
Come up with a plan so everyone in your house knows what to do in case of a fire and where to meet. Our kids know to meet either in the carport or at the top of the driveway (depending on the location of the fire). They know to count heads and notify an adult if someone is missing.
Practice Your Plan
Have a fire drill! If you have a fire plan you need to actually practice it. Make sure your children know how to open their windows, make sure they know of two safe exits. Have them lay in bed and have a fire drill. We have done this numerous times because it is a requirement for our boys when they have been in Cub Scouts. Every time I am thankful for the reminder to practice.
Get Quality Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Make sure you have a smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level and in every bedroom of your home. We have them on both levels (along with fire extinguishers) but now need to get them for the bedrooms.
Replace Your Batteries or Buy First Alert
Replace the batteries every six months. Doing this during Daylight Savings makes it easy to remember. Or get the First Alert 10 Year Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm which has a 10-year sealed battery which you will never need to replace!
Replace the Alarm itself
Like everything else in life (with the exception of debt and sleep deprivation) nothing lasts forever. Be proactive about replacing your smoke alarms every ten years.
Get 2-in-1 protection against smoke and carbon monoxide so you only need one device to alert your home to smoke and carbon monoxide.
*Come on, you knew I was going to mention minimalism at some point…*
Stay Out of Jail (Because Going to Jail is Bad for Your Kids)
Did you know all states have legislation requiring smoke alarms? Be sure and check the requirements in your state. https://www.firstalert.com/community/legislation/
Here is a Large family Fire Safety Tips you can print off to make sure you are keeping your family safe.
And you also may want to check out this post on carbon monoxide safety.