‘This is Us’ reminds us what not to do in a house fire


“This is Us” the last few weeks has been a guideline of what not to do if your house catches on fire.

Here’s what father Jack Pearson should have done:

Call 9-1-1 first. In the time Jack was running across the hallway to get the kids, then back in to get the dog and the keepsakes, the fire department could have been on the scene putting out the fire.

Don’t forget the batteries in the smoke detector. Rebecca nagged Jack to change the batteries, but he didn’t do it and she didn’t do it either. Change batteries twice a year when you set your clocks back or forward.

People over pets. Yes, we love our dogs, cats, bearded dragons and chinchillas, but going back in for a dog might have been the thing that killed Jack. If the pets aren’t right by you, let the fire department find them, not you.)

Have a fireproof box with all of your treasured memories and important documents. You won’t need to be in the fire searching for keepsakes and inhaling more smoke.

Anything with a faulty switch should be thrown out or replaced. Yes, it was lovely for the neighbors to give them their crockpot, but not if it would magically turn itself on. If you know something doesn’t work, don’t try to make do.

Have a fire ladder for all the bedrooms on the second floor. The kids could have gotten themselves out that way and not had to go to the bedroom with the window that wasn’t as high.

Have a family emergency plan and practice it. Knowing how to get out and where to go in a fire is important.

Know where your kids are. Not knowing where Kevin was delayed the family’s escape.

Here are the top causes of house fires in the United States, according to a 2017 report from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • 46 percent cooking equipment
  • 16 percent heating equipment
  • 9 percent electrical distribution and lighting equipment
  • 8 percent intentional
  • 5 percent smoking materials
  • The rest were unknown.

The report gives us this information. A fire in the home happens every 86 seconds, and “Unattended cooking is the leading factor contributing to these fires. Frying poses the greatest risk of fire. More than half of all cooking fire injuries occurred when people tried to fight the fire themselves.”

See, Jack, you’re not alone in trying to be the hero.



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