|Discovery Education's Clip Art Gallery created|
by Mark A. Hicks, illustrator.
Since my daughter and her friend were in another part of the mall I texted them and told them to leave the mall immediately. "Already leaving" was what I got in return. (Most likely because they had practiced what to do at school.) Outside the mall, as I waited for the girls, I noticed there were only a handful of shoppers who also left the building.
In the distance sirens blared as fire engines were making their way into the parking lot. Still hardly anyone had exited the mall. I wondered WHY. Did they think it was just a 'false alarm'? Was it inconvenient? Why would they put their family and themselves at risk?
(Although the video below happened at a Walmart in Maryland it depicts a similar reaction to the event that happened today in our mall. Please note that people react is if nothing out of the ordinary is happening.)
Keeping our students safe is of an utmost priority. At school we practice Fire Drills, Bus Evacuations and Lockdown drills several times throughout the year. Children learn how to proceed calmly and act appropriately in these emergency situations. The practices are taken very seriously by administration, students and staff. We know that students feel safer when they are prepared.
It is also a good idea for children and their families to practice fire drills at home. Having an escape plan and meeting place are important and reassuring for children. Below are some resources that may help.
|Created using DoodleBuddy|
About.com: How to Be Prepared (for teachers)
KidsHealth.org: What to Do in a Fire (for kids & parents)
FireSafetyForKids.org: Fire Safety for Kids (for kids with coloring pages; activities)
Scholastic: Sparky the Fire Dog Comic Book (children can make comic strip to help practice fire safety skills)
Sparky.org: Family Stuff (for kids & families - create a home fire escape plan; coloring pages)
Cybraryman.com: Fire Safety Resources (a list of sites for teachers, families & kids)
Please take fire alarms seriously. Although they may be a nuisance, leaving the building may just save your life....After all....SAFETY IS FREE!