Emergency Planning 

Are you prepared should the worst happen? 
 
As a parent of a two young children and the owner of a safety training company we are all too aware of dangers around the home. To make our home safer we have implemented a few simple procedures and also put a plan in place in case the worst happens. These include regular smoke alarm checks and having a list of important contacts always close by, below we will go through a few of these things that could help to improve your home safety. 
 
The prevention of accidents is obviously preferable to giving first aid but unfortunately, now and again accidents do happen. It is therefore important to make a plan for how you would deal with an emergency situation: 
 
What would you do if your child, or a child in your care has a serious accident or sudden illness? Ensure you have access to a telephone and ideally a mobile to allow you to call the emergency services if the worst were to happen, along with having easy access to a list of important numbers in case of emergency. These contact numbers should include your children’s doctors surgery, parents of children in your care, and a friend or family member that could look after your children if that accident or illness were to happen to you. 
 
You should have smoke alarms fitted and regularly tested according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A smoke alarm is the easiest way to alert you to the danger of fire, giving you time to escape. They are cheap, easy to get hold of, easy to fit and low maintenance. Smoke alarms should be tested once a week and batteries changed once a year on most devices, check the manufacturer’s instructions and set a regular time each week as testing your smoke alarm could help save your home and the lives of you and your family. 
 
Have you planned a route of escape from your home if there was a fire and would your children know what to do? Plan an escape route and make sure that everyone in the house is familiar with it, including children, childminders and babysitters. Planning together is important to ensuring everyone understands what to do and don’t forget to practise the escape plan with children. Make sure your children understand the importance of telling someone straight away if they see smoke or flames, and to get out of the building quickly but safely. 
 
Consider where you store your household chemicals. Poisoning or chemical burns can be prevented by storing medicines and household chemicals out of sight and out of reach of children, preferably in a secure, high-level cupboard. You should also consider where your bathroom cleaning materials are kept as often they are within your childs reach, and taking your eye off a child for just a few moments could allow them access to the often brightly coloured bottles which can be attractive to innocent eyes. 
 
Do you have a well stocked and up to date first aid kit? Hopefully you will never need it but accidents do happen, so it is best to be prepared. Your first aid kit should be stored in a location out of reach of small children but easily to hand if you need it. 
 
When should you check your smoke alarm or review your home safety? Now, right now! Its easy to put these things off, but accidents are exactly that, and never occur when we plan or expect them.