They are the words you never want to hear:

“Your house is on fire! Get out!”

A complete stranger was pounding on my door, yelling at me to get out. In days past, I’d always played the “What would I grab if my house was on fire? game and now I have the answer:

My dog.

Not even his leash. Roger was home so while I had my cell phone in my pocket, I took the dog and the clothes I was wearing on my back. Roger stood out in front of our house, shoeless we surveyed the scene.

We live in townhouses and the house two doors down from us was on fire. It was easy to see that it was a goner. The house next to ours, it was clear, was going to be in rough shape as well. The fire hadn’t traveled to our house yet.

And that’s when I had a terrifying thought: Where was Jeremy?

It was the first day of school, and with Jer, I didn’t know his new schedule. There was no way he could be in the house, right?

Roger ran back into the house, straight to Jeremy’s room, flew open the door to find a sleeping Jeremy, fresh off his first day of college, back in bed, sound asleep.

Yep. We are the parents that grabbed the dog, but forgot the kid.

Fortunately, everyone on our block was safe, but it gave me not only a new respect for the fire fighters who saved our house, but also the need for our whole family to get up on their fire safety.

You never think that a fire is going to happen to you – until it does. I now have the peace of knowing that I’ve done everything I know how to do to keep my family safe. And if you have small kids, it’s especially important to help them grow in their fire safety knowledge.sparky

Two great resources.

  • Download the Sparky’s Birthday Surprise app for free (for kids ages 2-6 – and let me just say I played it and TOTALLY CRUSHED IT…)  I would absolutely recommend having it on your phone and while you and your kids are waiting in line at the grocery store or are in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, whip it out so your kids can play and learn. I had a bunch of my friends with little-uns try it out – the four year olds were WILD about it – the older kids (six and seven) all shared concerns that it might be too babyish, but kept coming back for more and playing.
  • 51ONGrxih5L__AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-31,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_For older kids (7-10) download this free e-book Rescue Dogs, Firefighting Heroes and Science Facts Some of my favorite authors
  • Another great Sparky resource is this Fire Safety Checklist to go over with your kiddos. There were some great reminders to me as well.
  • Have your dryer serviced regularly and clean out the lint – not just in the lint trap but in the hosing behind the dryer.

Is there something you’ve done to teach your kiddos safety in the home?