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Home Safety: Safety topics for you and your family

Many of our children are latch-key, meaning they come home and are alone for several hours before you arrive from work.  Have you ever talked to your family about egressing your home in the event of a fire?  Do they know what to do if a disaster occurs from weather or other conditions?  Many adult parents travel for their jobs and never think, “What if something happens to our communications network, or heaven forbid another terrorist attack?”  If parents are cut-off from communicating with children for a day, do the children know what to do or where to go?  These are tougher discussions than you realize.  The trick is to plan for the worse case and hope for the best.

Fires that happen at night cause many families to perish from smoke inhalation.  The way to mitigate the risk of this hazard is through early warning devices.  Smoke alarms that are properly installed (with fresh batteries) can wake family members and give them time to get to a preplanned meeting place.  Practice your egress plan so that it is natural.  Make sure that everyone knows how to decide which way to go and where to meet.  If children are not familiar with the plan they may freeze up in fear and not get out of the home in time.  In some cases, you may find that you can’t get to them because you are blocked by a fire.  This is why everyone needs a plan to save themselves.  Weather is another risk that we need to discuss.

We live in Oklahoma, “Where the wind comes whipping down the plains…” and this wind can sometimes has devastating results.  In our home we have a reinforced room under our stairway that we run to.  What kind of weather hazards do you and your family need to recognize, evaluate, and control?  Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc?  In addition, we rely on technology to connect with each other, but what if technology fails?

When my children where in high school my wife and I travelled some with our business.  On the date we all remember, 9/11 we where fortunate to be home, but a consultant friend from Dallas was on an airliner headed for Minneapolis when his plane was diverted to Kansas City.  Additionally, one of our consultants was working for us in Ohio and we had to get him home.  Our friend drove home and on the way stopped to stay with us in Tulsa, our consultant road home with a carload of others three days later.  This event opened our eyes to the possibility of being stranded and unable to get home to our children.  Even today we have a plan in case we cannot contact each other so that we can support one another.  The key is to make a plan, share it, review it from time to time and if need be, “Do it!”

Safety is not just for work.  Stop and have this discussion with your family.  During chaotic events people are injured and die because they do not have a plan.  As a flight instructor, I train my students to keep their head in an emergency and follow the preplanned procedures.  Home safety is no different, be prepared and keep your head so that Nobody Gets Hurt.

Be Safe!

Carl Potter

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One Response to Home Safety: Safety topics for you and your family

  • James odell says:

    Amen! Every safety meeting I include some at-home portion to it. Our workers know what EDITH stands for and many have shared with me their ready plans and kits they have assembled as a direct result of learning the importance of at-home safety here at work.
    This is where true change is made…when we care for the worker and their families it really is where you will get that buy-in for what ever it is you are trying to get through at work.
    Culture change is made here. Take it Home.

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