This Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, photo shows damaged buildings at the scene of a fatal fire that killed several people including multiple children in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune via AP)
Kids & Sleepovers. I still think of weekend mornings as a cool time. Growing up it was cartoons and waffles. Then as my kids came along it was that-and then karate, baseball, gymnastics, beach time and horseback riding. These days, it's my "Poppie" role with our 6 beautiful grandbabies (The 6 Pak) playing and having donuts and fruit. The special times continue.
Last weekend was anything but special when Chicago firefighters dealt with a dwelling fire that would result in 10 dead kids. TEN dead kids at a sleepover. Every Firefighters worst run. Kids.
I have a link to the CFD radio traffic from that fire for you to listen to below.
Media is all over this fire-like they should be-asking how it can happen? It happens every day in North America when there are no smoke alarms, batteries missing from smoke alarms and no fire sprinkler systems...and irresponsible adults.
-Adults not making sure the home has working smoke alarms.
-Adults not supervising kids entirely.
-Adult politicians bowing to homebuilder associations who fight against fire sprinkler systems.
At least in my world, there is nothing more precious than kids. We go out of our way to protect these little folks who we adore and would do whatever it takes to protect them from the worlds ugly stuff. Sometimes we can't, but many times we can.
Sometimes we are forced out of our comfort zone in doing so.
Speaking to that neighbor about their brat kid.
Speaking to that teacher about grades.
Speaking to your spouse about how to raise the kids right.
It's all kind uncomfortable but this isn't about you-this is about taking care of these little folks who we decided to bring into this world.
As the kids get older, they are often asked to have a sleepover at a friend’s hours. It's a big deal for everyone involved-from the kid to the nervous parents. After all, little Jessie or Jackie have never spent the night away from home.
Well as soon as you worry about all the stuff you will worry about, before that first sleepover (who are these people, will she wet the bed, what kind of snacks will they have yada yada) I am begging you to worry about one more thing. Alarms. Working alarms in the house.
The issue right now is you and your kids. Your grand kids, Your nieces, nephews, step kids. Whatever-kids. make it a life priority of yours that you will NEVER leave your kids anywhere-in a sleepover without making sure that the smoke alarms work. As them to test them for you. Yes. Really.
TRUST NO ONE
Annoy your neighbors, your family, your friend-whoever is going to oversee that roof over your kids for the evening, Trust no one to think that "of course they have smoke alarms"...don't be so sure.
So what kind of smoke alarms should you buy? Many fire organizations recommend the use of photoelectric or a combination of both ionization and photo-electric smoke alarms. According to experts, the photoelectric alarms are less likely to sound nuisance alarms so because of that are less likely to be disabled. Best bet: Have a mix of both...you can afford it.
I could go on all day on this subject, but I'll wrap it up. Smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms. No different than you will make sure that the kids have a tooth brush, a special pillow, pajamas and a stuffed animal-you also must be sure that they are staying in a home proven, working, smoke alarms.
BE ANNOYING-RAISE AWARENESS
Your question may annoy the relatives, the friends, the families. Odds are you probably annoy them anyway. So, continue that tradition and annoy them so that you will sleep well that night and your kids will wake up the next morning.
-Peppa Pig Video...check
-Working smoke alarms...check
Our condolences to all those affected by the loss of those kids and our hearts go out to the CFD members who gave it their all.