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.