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#201003 - 04/26/10 01:31 PM Proud Of My Son
Jesselp Offline
What's Next?

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 263
Loc: New York
So, last night at about 9pm there is an ear splitting noise that suddenly starts coming from my house. Quickly realize that it's our home security system's fire alarm going off.

House does not appear to be on fire. Wife and I are staring at each other, each thinking that the other might know how to turn off the alarm, when our four year old son bursts out of his room with a look of panic on his face. He runs down the stairs to the front door and says, "Fire alarm, we have to go outside!"

I look at my wife and say, "He's right." She scoops up our two year old and heads out to take shelter in the car with the kids. I grab the cordless phone and do a quick look for obvious smoke or flame before heading outside. The alarm monitoring company calls and I tell them that there is no obvious fire, but if carbon monoxide would set off the alarm, then they should probably send out the fire department. She tells me that CO would trip the alarm, so I wait on the front lawn for the fire trucks.

FD clears the house and finds nothing wrong. I apologize for waking them up and the chief assures me that it's better to over-react and be safe, especially with kids in the house, than to under-react and suffer the consequences. (I actually know this chief, he was kind enough to bring his engine to my kid's birthday party for the kids to climb on about a year ago. Really good guy.)

When the FD left, I sat my four year old down and made a big deal of telling him how proud I was that he knew what to do when the fire alarm went off, and that he immediately went to get out of the house, and that he should do the same thing if it ever happens again. He was really freaked out by the whole thing, and it took him a while to calm down enough to go back to sleep. My two year old was crying profusely, because he did not want to fire trucks to go away before he could play with them. It was a fun night! (Sarcasm)

The alarm company is coming out today to see what tripped the alarm. . .

Anyhow, I'm really pleased that my son knew what to do when the alarm went off, and did it. We've discussed with him what to do in a fire, and it's good to know that some of those instructions actually sank in.

I hope everyone else is having fewer moments of excitement lately than I am!
A blog about adventure
in and around New York

#201008 - 04/26/10 03:42 PM Re: Proud Of My Son [Re: ]
GauchoViejo Offline

Registered: 03/06/08
Posts: 94
Loc: Argentina
Congrats on your smart kid, but also congrats to your wife and yourself for teaching him so well. It would be nice if you could tell us how you approached the fire training for your kids.

#201047 - 04/27/10 01:04 AM Re: Proud Of My Son [Re: GauchoViejo]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
We had one of those alarms a few years ago. Salesman said there is a pet sensitive motion sensor that won't alert on small movements so we went with that so the cats wouldn't set it off. I found I could move really really slow and defeat it.
Found out our city pretty much ignores the alarm calls when we set it off by mistake, but our roof leaked and tripped the tire alarm and they did respond to that. We found out the previous owner used a license plate to repair flashing and it leaked.

#201070 - 04/27/10 02:01 PM Re: Proud Of My Son [Re: Jesselp]
Compugeek Offline

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 392
Loc: San Diego, CA
Kudos to you both for teaching him well, and for following through on it! You didn't dismiss it as "Let's see what it is first."

Good job!
Okey-dokey. What's plan B?

#201071 - 04/27/10 02:35 PM Re: Proud Of My Son [Re: Jesselp]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Excellent story, excellent response from kids and parents.

#201073 - 04/27/10 02:55 PM Re: Proud Of My Son [Re: Jesselp]
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Here is a small suggestion to reinforce the good response by your son.

Call the Fire Department that responded to your home, most have fire prevention give-aways like plastic helmets, badges and the such. Ask if you could bring by your son to the station for a tour and let them know what he did, more than likely they will say yes and make him a Junior Firefighter for his actions.


#201075 - 04/27/10 05:26 PM Re: Proud Of My Son [Re: paramedicpete]
Outdoor_Quest Offline

Registered: 08/17/09
Posts: 305
Loc: Central Oregon
Well done. What a great and positive teaching moment for your son.

That is a great story.


#201081 - 04/27/10 07:15 PM Re: Proud Of My Son [Re: paramedicpete]
Jesselp Offline
What's Next?

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 263
Loc: New York
My son is already pretty well known by the local fire department. He is obsessed with fire trucks - he has already told me with conviction that he wants to be a firefighter - astronaut when he grows up (didn't we all?). The volunteer chief brought an engine by for half an hour at his last birthday party for the kids to climb on, which was a big hit, and he's got an invitation to go up on a tower-ladder in a few weeks. He's got all the plastic helmets, badges, and coloring books he could ever want!

As for how we educated him, it's an ongoing process. His daycare had the local fire department come by with an engine to discuss fire safety about a year ago, and we built from there. Actually, I got a lot of ideas from this board, and Blast's posts about his kids - I throw out "what would you do" questions on occasion and discuss his responses with him. We’ve talked about strangers who want to talk to him, fire, crossing the street, dogs, other animals, and getting lost in the supermarket, among other things. I try to give him knowledge without scaring him, and I think I’ve been pretty successful.

He doesn't always "get it," but he is only four. My favorite was when he learned that you could smother a fire with sand. That night he told me that if the house were ever on fire he would rescue me by running to the beach with his pail and shovel to bring sand back to the house to put out the fire (we live two blocks from the beach). I corrected him and told him if the house was ever on fire, he should leave the house as quickly as possible and run to the neighbor's to have them call for help.

More recently, I've confirmed that he actually could dial "911" on the phone all by himself if he ever needed to, which is nice to know. I told him it was not a game, but if his mom or I were ever hurt or really sick and were not responding to him, or he was ever somewhere that he felt scared and unsafe, he should find a phone and call "911" to tell the operator that he needs help, and he would not get in trouble. I figure I never know what could happen, and he might give me a fighting chance someday if I hurt myself around the house. Stranger things have happened.
A blog about adventure
in and around New York

#201082 - 04/27/10 07:36 PM Re: Proud Of My Son [Re: Jesselp]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
he has already told me with conviction that he wants to be a firefighter - astronaut when he grows up (didn't we all?).

Firefighting in space is easy, just open the door. laugh

Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

#201511 - 05/08/10 12:24 AM Re: Proud Of My Son [Re: Blast]
Tkaz Offline

Registered: 04/30/10
Posts: 3
That's very cool, sounds like he's got a good head on those shoulders. the more he learns now about emergencies and to keep cool and not panic the better he'll be later in life in all aspects.
Tactical, Survival & Outdoor Gear

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