BEEP BEEP BEEP! ALERT! FIRE! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! BEEP BEEP BEEP! ALERT! FIRE! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE... Imagine gettting a wake up call at 3 a.m. that your house is on fire! That is exactly what happened to my family last night. I flew out of bed so fast, I was the first one up. I screamed at my husband "LEE! FIRE!" and ran into the hallway to grab our little girls. But, there wasn't any smoke. My husband jumped out of bed and together we ran through the house trying to find the fire. Our inline smoke detector also detects carbon monoxide and we thought maybe this is what set it off.
We ran downstairs to check on the kids in the basement. They were all up, eyes wide with fright. We checked every room and found no smoke, no fire. I told my husband to go outside and see if he could see any smoke coming from the roof. No smoke. We were puzzled. Our sleepy minds couldn't figure out what had happened.
The alarm started up again...BEEP BEEP BEEP! ALERT! FIRE! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! BEEP BEEP BEEP! ALERT! FIRE! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE... We suddenly remembered that we had a plug in carbon monoxide detector we could plug in and see if it was going off due to carbon monoxide. But where was it? The last anyone had seen it was in our office. 3 a.m. is not the best time to look for something that someone thought they saw somewhere. We are still recovering from a whole house move and things are still unpacked and we still have boxes stacked in our closet. We couldn't find the carbon monoxide detector.
The alarm had shut off at this point so we could only assume it had malfunctioned. The only other way to set off this alarm is to purposely press the button to test the alarm. No one had pressed the button. We milled around the house for awhile, uncertain what had happened, relunctant to go back to bed.
After we decided it was safe to go back to bed, a bad thunderstorm came through and my husband climbed back out of bed and turned on the t.v. to track the storm. I drifted off to sleep, the thought of determining a fire escape plan for myself, my husband, and our two girls upstairs. We have already figured out an escape plan and a meeting place for the four kids we have in the basement. Our eldest daughter has a removeable ladder on her bunk bed and it is perfect to hook up into the window wells so each of the kids can climb out and run to safety to the swingset. Please, please, do not wait until 3 a.m. to figure out an escape plan! Do not wait until your mind is half asleep like we did. This 3 a.m. wake up call woke us up to the fact we hadn't planned anything.
Below are some websites that are great for helping you determine an escape plan for you and your family:
Home Fire Escape Plan
Exit Drills in the Home
Don't Let This Happen to Your Home