Home protection is about strategy: the overall objective, and the approach to achieving that overarching objective. It is about tactics: the actual plan for movement to escape, and/or for the interdiction of a threat. Finally, it’s about having the necessary tools for the strategy and the tactics to succeed. All of us need to be concerned with protection from fire. That’s why we have fire departments. Our strategy there is to begin with prevention. We check our wiring, for example, to make sure nothing is frayed or overloaded or otherwise out of spec. We then prepare ourselves for the next step: intervention. If prevention has failed and a fire has started in the home, we are ready to interdict it and keep it from harming our loved ones and ourselves. We have fire alarms and smoke alarms to alert us in time to deal with the crisis. In addition to those tools, we have fire extinguishers and fire escapes.
Most important, we give thought to the matter beforehand. We plan what to do. Wise parents do fire drills with their kids just like the children do at school. For the same reasons, in an emergency, having rehearsed what to do gives us valuable experience that helps us to do the same things for real, while in the grip of life-threatening stress. None of this means there won’t be a fire. None of it makes us firefighters. None of it means we don’t need the fire department anymore. What it does mean is that we’ve done our best in terms of prevention and recognized that prevention can nonetheless fail. Therefore, we have emergency rescue tools in place, such as the fire extinguisher, to stave off death and cut a lane of safety for ourselves and those for whom we’re responsible, until the designated professionals can get there to take over. All of us need to be concerned with emergency first aid situations. This is why we block electrical outlets and keep lye and other poisons secured out of reach of little children. It is why we try to eat healthy foods and exercise to stay in shape. It is why we keep first aid kits at home. Most important, we plan what to do if a medical crisis does occur. We know where Great-Grandma keeps her digitalis, and when to put it under her tongue. We’ve been to CPR class and practiced external cardiac massage on the dummy Resusci-Anne. We have the phone number handy for the Poison Control Center…
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