Every day tens of thousands of people travel around the US and Internationally, putting their safety and that of their family in the hands of people they have never met.  Does the Smoke Detector work?  How many doors is it from your hotel door to the nearest and secondary fire exits?  How quickly could you lose your life or that of a family member because you did not take along, or send along a simple $15 smoke detector?

Good habits save lives, poor habits cost lives.

But this is just the US story!  How many families send their children overseas to study abroad?  In April 2011, college student  Jasmine Jahanshahi went to Paris as part of a study abroad program, and she died in a fire.  Her friends decided to take action and looked in to the cause of this senseless tragedy.  They discovered that many foreign countries do not require smoke detectors and due to the way these cities are built, fire protection is difficult.  Thus, the Jasmine Jahanshahi Fire Safety Foundation was born to try to prevent a tragedy like this from happening to another student and his/her family.

Please go to http://www.firesafetyfoundation.org/ and see what you can do to help!

Recently, through the efforts of Jasmine’s best friend, Zoe Friedland, Universities and Colleges across the country are beginning to take proactive steps in the hope of never having another terrible tragedy like the one that occurred in April 2011.  However, only with due diligence and the continued push by all of us working together, can we help save lives through the simple practice of teaching good safety habits.  Simple things like checking your home smoke detectors, having an exit plan that everyone knows, creating a family disaster action plan, and teaching good safety habits to our children!

When we travel, we need to take a long a simple inexpensive smoke detector, when we arrive at any destination, take a few moments to check for the primary and secondary exits, show our children the proper and safe way to exit, treat all fire alarm activations like real emergencies (complacency kills), and have a travel disaster action plan.  The family disaster plan you have at your home needs modified for when you travel.  If you are at an amusement park and there is an emergency, does everyone know the primary and secondary meeting locations?  What if you are in a foreign country?  Do you have a plan, do you know where the US Consulate is located? Where will you meet if there is a fire? Does everyone know the plan?  Many of us depend on our cell phones, but depending where you are located, they may not work or the cell lines may be tied up, as has been seen in many recent disasters.  Remember that even when cell calls will not go through, many times a text message or social media will work.  Keep the messages simple, “Meet at the designated location, Dad.”

We all take time to learn about crime and sightseeing locations, but most of us forget about the simple steps that need to be taken in the event that a fire or other similar emergency occurs.   Take the time to show your children and family how much you love them, make a plan and “Take one Along or Send one Along,” smoke detectors save lives!

And, Please, if you can, help support the Jasmine Jahanshahi Fire Safety Foundation.