Family Safety Plans

While having a Ring Alarm is certainly an important element of family safety, it's also vital to have a family safety plan. It's extremely important that everyone knows what to do if your Ring Alarm warns you about a fire, carbon monoxide leak (available with First Alert products), or if an intruder breaks into your home. The following article will give you some of the basics for creating a family safety plan. 

Know your area

The first step in creating a good Family Safety Plan is knowing the types of emergencies you might face in your area. Is your area prone to earthquakes? Wildfires? Cyclones? Hurricanes? Each of these emergencies is different and requires a different response in your Family Safety Plan. The Red Cross has an excellent guide to different types of emergencies as well as what your response should be.

Know your neighbors

Always designate several "safe areas" where you and your family can meet in case of emergency. Depending on the type of emergency, these may be indoors or in a basement (during, for example, a cyclone) or outdoors (during a fire). Assuming you have neighbors you know and trust and depending on the type of emergency, you can always designate a neighbor's house as a safe place to meet. 

Know your family

Always consider the relative ages of every member of the household when creating your emergency plan. Families with younger children should try to use visual representations to teach emergency safety. Smaller children are more visual and respond better to bright colors such as directional arrows. You may also want to designate one person to be responsible for any pets in the house. 

In addition, teach your children how to dial 911 and how to recite their full address in case of an emergency. This will help them dial for help from a regular or cell phone. 

Know your plan

Once you have a plan in place, practice, practice, practice! Practice your plan at least once a year and under different conditions, including at night. In the moment when adrenaline and fear is hitting, your plan should be second nature so you don't have to think, just act. 

Make sure your children are familiar with the emergency equipment they'll have to use. A fire is not the place to find out your child can't get down the fire escape ladder because of a fear of heights. Make sure everyone is also up on basic safety procedures as well such as feeling the back of a door for heat in a fire or stopping, dropping and rolling should their clothes catch on fire.

In addition, don't rely on what you remember of your safety drills during childhood. Urban legends and rumors such as standing in a doorway during an earthquake (in actuality, standing in a doorway is no safer than anywhere else in the house. During an earthquake get under a sturdy piece of furniture such as a dining room table) can be deadly. Use online resources to make sure your plan is up-to-date.

Ring and Ring Alarm urge you to be prepared!

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