When my daughter came home from Kindergarten on Monday afternoon, she proudly told us about all of the Fire Safety information that she had learned in school that day. She also announced that she had a homework assignment. She needed to count and test the fire alarms in our house as well as draw a picture of our family’s Safe Meeting Spot outside.
No problem, I thought. We started on our hunt for the fire alarms and began to test them. She found the one in our basement level first. We tested it and all was fine. However, as we moved to our main level and our second floor, all was NOT fine.
Although our alarms (which are hardwired, not battery powered) had worked fine when we moved in, they had not been tested in quite some time. At some point, our first and second story alarms stopped working properly. When we tested them on Monday, they would only trigger the sirens in the basement level to blare loudly. No sound was coming from the devices on either of the other floors. That was a problem.
My husband took a look at the owners manual and tried a few adjustments, but was unable to fix the sound on the broken alarms. He called the manufacturer of our fire alarms yesterday morning to describe the problem and ultimately found out that OUR FIRE ALARMS HAD BEEN RECALLED BACK IN 1988 OR 1989! Wow! The company is sending out replacement alarms to us ASAP.
I am so thankful that a simple homework assignment made us take a look at a very important component of our family’s safety at home. Who knows when/if we would have realized that our fire alarms were failing if we had not done this easy exercise.
So, parents, please count and test your fire alarms with your kids. It’s so important to be sure they are working properly for your family. You also want to pick a Safe Meeting Spot for your family outside so your kids know where they should run to in case of a fire.
(photo credit: James City County Fire Department)