Ben Hammond, a firefighter in Arkansas with the Little Rock Fire Department and a volunteer with the Sheridan Fire Department Fire Prevention Division, has been teaching fire prevention in the schools for years and has brought those lessons home to his family. He says his three sons consider home fire drills fun.
“When their friends come to our house we practice fire drills,” he says. “We have them in the middle of the night, we’ve had them in the middle of the day.”
All that practice was put to use in a real emergency one night when Hammond and his wife heard a noise near the laundry room.
“The smoke alarm was going off and heavy smoke was coming out of there,” he says. “I told my wife, ‘I’m going to call 9-1-1 and I want you get the kids out of the house.’ ”
However, the kids–the youngest is 4 years old–were one step ahead of mom and dad and already on their way out the door.
Hammond says the fire department was able to shut down the clothes dryer before the fire spread and moved it out of the house.
“The smoke alarm was a big lifesaver,” he says “The kids, without being instructed, were able to react to it appropriately. I attribute this to the practice, repetition, and education they had beforehand.”