Last night at 2:30 am, our smoke alarm went off. I vaulted out of bed and ran, heart pounding, to my son Austin’s room. I snatched up Austin (2), and then screamed “Tyler” as I whirled around and headed to his room.
On the way, I practically ran into my husband, Mike, who was in the hallway. At that instant I realized that the alarm had stopped sounding. Thank God.
I put Austin back in bed and checked on Tyler. Mike and I did a careful search of the house and found nothing wrong. We don’t know what caused the alarm to go off; perhaps a spider crawled inside.
But one of the scariest parts of this was that neither Austin nor Tyler (4) woke up. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, up to 85% of kids don’t wake up to smoke alarms because they sleep so deeply and the alarms aren’t loud enough. Safety experts are working to develop different types of alarms, such as those with flashing lights and different sounds. In the meantime, parents should be aware that the alarms might not wake kids up.
Also be sure to check your smoke alarm batteries once a month and replace their batteries once a year. Make a fire escape plan and practice it with your family.