After a mother and her three children died in a tragic house fire in Glendale two weeks ago, officials with the local fire department are urging parents to discuss fire safety and preparedness techniques with their children.
“We want to make sure that every family is having this conversation so this doesn’t happen to anybody else,” said Ashley Losch, a spokeswoman for the Glendale Fire Department. “After a really hard conversation with my own 12-year-old, I realized we’re not getting the message from parent to child.”
Losch, who witnessed the tragic fire, said parents must have this conversation with their children, even if they think their children will know what to do in case of an emergency.
“Most houses are going to have a second form of what we call an egress, a second way in and a second way out,” Losch said. “What are you going to do? How are you going to get out?”
In case of a fire, Losch said, children and parents alike should be prepared to drop everything and escape in any way possible, whether its through a door or even a window.
“In the event of an emergency and [the window] is not opening? Break the window,” Losch advised. “Put a blanket over the glass you’re not hurt and climb out.”
Parents also need to stress to their children that it is important to stay low and stay visible so firefighters can be able to find them.
“The safest place for you during a house fire is as low to the ground as you can possibly get,” she said. “There’s going to be some form of oxygen down there.”
Because smoke rises, Losch said, the higher you get, the harder it is to breathe, and when you can’t breathe, you get disoriented, panic and can’t get out.
But one of the most simple and reliable ways to practice fire safety? Making “sure you have functional smoke detectors and you have a plan,” Losch said.