Parent Magazine St. Johns October 2019 - Page 25

Test your smoke alarms annually. Choose a holiday, anniversary or birthday to make it easier to remember. We tested our smoke alarms while practicing our escape plan. NFPA says that nearly half of fire deaths are prevented simply by having working smoke alarms. Create a home inventory. Even if no one dies or is injured, going through a fire is traumatic. Walking through the soggy, burned out shell of our home, with the toxic smell of melted plastic searing our nostrils, was surreal. The days that followed were mind-numbing as we tediously inventoried the sooty remains that mapped our lives. Inventory your possessions before disaster strikes. Feltz suggests the Dream Vault app to take pictures of the items in your home. File or scan copies of receipts for large ticket items. “If you update a deck, fence or kitchen, take a picture even of the receipt,” Feltz says. Purchase a fire proof safe. My husband and I received a fire proof safe soon after we were married as a Christmas gift. The box seemed like an odd gift to me at the time. But for less than $50, this safe proved priceless, saving us a few headaches. (See the sidebar for the types of documents to store.) In the end, we were lucky. My husband and I had each other, reliable insurance and many friends offering support. The house was rebuilt, our lives restored and things replaced. Now that we are parents, our two little risk factors have raised the stakes. I’m not gambling on their safety. To me, that would be like playing with fire--a fire I’m not sure I’d ever recover from. Documents to store in your fire proof safe: • Home owners insurance and your insurance agent’s name and number • Passports • Original birth certificates • Original social security cards • CD or external hard drive of family photos and inventory Quiz 1. What is the leading cause of house fires? • Copies of important legal and financial documents • Safety deposit box keys if you have a bank deposit box • List of family physicians, copies of current prescriptions and pharmacy contact information • Bank account information and copies of your credit cards and bank cards to help you access your funds quickly. Source: Legal Zoom 3. Where is the best place to hide during a fire? a. Space heaters a. The bathtub b. Cooking b. A closet c. Kids playing with matches c. Never hide 2. What do you do if your clothes catch on fire? a. Run screaming b. Stop, drop and roll c. Take your clothes off Answers: 1 b, 2 b, 3 c