One mom took to Reddit in an attempt to share what she wishes she knew after her home burnt down.
“A couple of days ago, our house burned down. It was in the middle of the night and a complete basic freak accident. We lost everything we owned. I’ve learned so much from this experience and I really want to share what I wish I knew before it happened,” the mom begins.
“Fire drills are a thing. Practice, as a family, what to do in case of a fire. Come up with exit plans and practice at night time AND day time. Keep practicing until you’re sure everyone in the family is comfortable with the plan and okay to get out. Emphasis on the whole ‘Get out immediately and safely, don’t grab anything.'”
The mom also pushes other to remember to direct their children if they aren’t able to practice what to do in a fire.
“Now, as a parent, you need to realize that even if you practice this over and over and that everyone knows what to do, in the eventuality of an actual fire, things might just not go as planned. To give you a blunt example, our 9-year-old was woken up and when we told him ‘fire, let’s go’ his first reaction was to hide in our room. He was in a semi-awake state where he figured it was just a dream and wanted shelter,” she continues on.
“Also, I cannot state this one enough MAKE SURE YOU GO OUT WITH YOUR KIDS. I told my kids (8 and 9) to go downstairs and out the door once I was sure there was no fire there. They were waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. They were scared. They didn’t want to go outside in the middle of the night without a parent. Don’t rely on your children to go outside alone.”
“Don’t let your children watch the house burn down. Hell, if you can avoid it, don’t watch it yourself. It’s traumatic. Ask a neighbor to keep them, a grandparent to pick them up, anything. You don’t want them to go through the whole set of emotions of seeing everything they own being burnt. Afterward, experts have suggested we not go back to the scene with them and definitely not to go inside. At that point, do what you feel comfortable with.”
The mom goes on to recommend therapy, as the entire situation truly is traumatic for all parties involved.
“Consult. It’s a traumatic event to go through. Therapy is healthy.”
“If you have pets and they happen to be in the house, remind the firefighters over and over. Each firefighter that goes inside, tell them there is a pet. Our pets all died (2 cats and 2 parrots). It was a big fire, so firefighters didn’t make it a priority to save the pets BUT they also kept telling us they didn’t know there were pets in the house.”
“Take the help that people give you. Don’t try and go back to normal as quickly as possible. Take the time to process what happened.”
“Fireproof safes are a thing. Right now, I can’t even identify myself. All my cards, wallet, passport, certificates are burnt.”
After all the advice, the mom goes on to list what she is appreciative of, despite losing so much.
“That’s all. At the end of the day, I feel lucky to have my family alive. It took 10 minutes for the fire to reach the roof and the walls. By then, it was all collapsing. We also are very lucky to have gotten great support from family, friends and people we know. We’re so thankful and I honestly cannot wait for the day that I can give back and help others.”
“Fires happen. Freak accidents happen. Prevent it BUT also prepare for the worst. Also, don’t sleep naked…. or keep a robe nearby.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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