Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fire Safety and Other Tips for Ensuring the Physical Safety of Those You Home or Visit Teach

A few years ago, a member of the Church in Menasha, Wisconsin died a tragic and painful death when he rushed back into his burning home to look for a couple of his children that he thought were still inside. All the children of the two families living in that home had escaped safely, but some were gathered behind the home and others in front. They had never established a plan for dealing with fire, and thus didn't have an agreed-upon gathering place. The father went into the home with a garden hose. While just a few feet from the front door, a sudden back draft of flame swept around him. It's incredible how dangerous a burning home can be. He was heroic in trying to save his family, but they were already safe. His death still troubles me greatly.

I once was the home teacher of that family. We had helped them on a variety of things, but it never occurred to me to check and see if they had a fire safety plan. This could be a great thing for home teachers and visiting teachers to consider, especially for immigrant families that might not have had the basics of fire safety while in school.

In addition to providing help with requests from your families, there is a need for friends like home teachers and visiting teachers to be more proactive and inquire about other possible needs in the lives of your family. Have they taken steps to help children recognize the dangers that strangers might pose? Are they getting decent nutrition? Is there dangerous clutter that could lead to a fire or other injuries? Is there car an accident waiting to happen? Do they wear seat belts? Think about physical safety as well as spiritual safety when working with your families.

And be sure to help them take steps to live providently, get out of debt, improve their education and employability, etc. Perhaps helping a child with some math homework might be the most important thing you could do for somebody this month.

Let's help our families live better and longer and happier lives. And fire safety might be the place to start.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are mormon families so helpless that they need some dudes from church help them with things that normal families can do without any help?

Robbie said...

I think the point is that lots of families don't do these things, thinking it won't happen to them, or there will be time to do it later. Everyone, in and out of the church, can use the loving help of friends, families and neighbours to take care of these important things. The Home and Visiting Teaching programs of the church are especially well suited, and intended for, this kind of care for individuals and families. Jeff, I am sorry you carry this pain, and thank you for reminding us of the stewardship we hold.

Bookslinger said...

"Are mormon families so helpless that they need some dudes from church help them with things that normal families can do without any help?"

Mormons likely have the same percentage of helpless and dysfunctional families as other religions, and even atheists and RFM'ers.

As the saying goes, "Never underestimate human stupidity." Another approriate one is "Common sense isn't common."

You seem to imply that your family doesn't need any help. Good for you. But, if everyone and every family you know is self-sufficient, then you probably don't have a very broad life experience.

The kinds of screw-ups Jeff described are common in the media.

Shawn said...

Anon 7:00am

Pretty callous. Shame on you.

Thanks for the post, Jeff

Shawn

Themmormons said...

Home Teachers show their love for Heavenly Father and Jesus by works. Helping others is a great way to show your lover for the savior and the atonement. That is one reason why Mormon "dudes" help families.

James 2:17-18 "faith without works is dead."

ujlapana said...

Last week I went to a fire station and learned all about the importance of a fire plan. It struck me as something both easy to do and extremely valuable in the unlikely event of a fire. The cost-benefit ratio is probably much higher than some of the other popular "house of order" gospel-hobbies, such as storing a year's worth of food. Certainly higher than storing months worth of water. A good message to share.(Maybe someone should mention it next October. To their credit, they'll mention not smoking and drinking, which helps A LOT if you don't want to die in a fire.)

Drew said...

A great message! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I keep having fire safety come up in my life lately. I have started planning of this. I finally got a fire safe and put important documents in it. I also gave a copy of some of these documents (such as my will) to my mother. I have told my oldest where we would meet in case of a fire. I haven't explained it yet to my 2 year old. I also need to start working on some dry runs with my kids and show my oldest how to get the window in her bedroom open. Also in June I am going to increase my insurance. Thank you once again for reminding me of what I need to be working on.
--Single mother of 2

Anonymous said...

We can all do a few quick things that will dramatically improve our home fire safety. Here is a link to a series of great 5 minute guides on improving home fire safety.
http://www.firedefendersystem.com/content/27

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