peace of mind

This post is brought to you by Kidde. The thoughts, words and photos are mine unless otherwise noted.

June is National Safety Month, which gets me thinking: what would my wife and I do if there was an actual emergency in our home? Do we know the safest way out of our building if there was a fire? Could we properly perform abdominal thrusts (formerly known as the Heimlich maneuver) if Olivia or either of us were choking? And, perhaps most importantly in these modern times, what if our internet was down and we couldn't access social media or continue binge watching our favorite show? *GASP!*

I think it's fairly safe to say that the biggest safety concerns in our household are choking and fires. And if there is ever an instance where one of us chokes on something that is on fire, well, I'm pretty sure that would be the end of the world as we know it. The choking concern is mostly mine, which began when I was a child and watched as my younger brother choked on a piece of ice he had been chewing (my mother saved him). Then a few years ago my wife choked on food at her job (a co-worker saved her), and most recently our friend's daughter choked on a sucker she had in her mouth (her father saved her). The thought of this happening to anyone, especially the people I love, is terrifying to me. I've been trained in CPR, even took a class with Jodi before Olivia was born, but it has been nearly 4 years since that information was refreshed. If I want the people who care for Olivia in our absence (daycare, babysitters, family, luckdragons) to be versed in CPR and able to prevent choking, then shouldn't we be as well? I'll be signing us up for a class as soon as I'm done writing this.

Photo credit: me

While fire is definitely a concern for me, it's even more so for Jodi. When she was a child the flue of her parent's fireplace backed up multiple times, sending smoke throughout the house and setting off alarms. Not knowing if there was an actual fire or not (thankfully there wasn't), she responded in the proper fashion: she grabbed as many of her stuffed animals as possible and ran to wake up her parents. She has watched as a neighbor's house went up in flames after a lightning strike, fearful that her parent's house would be next. In fact, she and I were present when one night the deck of their house caught fire. One minute we were chatting and laughing, and the next we're rushing to call 911 and put out the fire before it spread any further. Fire is scary, whether you're a child or an adult, and it's definitely important to have an action plan in place so you can respond appropriately when one happens. Let that be a lesson: keep your stuffed animals in a 'Go' bag for when things take a turn for the worse.

The nice thing about living in the digital age is that we can stay connected all the time to our family, friends and even our house. We know almost instantly when an emergency happens, thanks to email, texting and social media. But what happens when a fire or a carbon monoxide leak breaks out when we're not at home?  Or my biggest fear: what if something like that happens when my wife and child are at home and I'm not there to protect them? Not only would I want to know right away, but I'd want our neighbors, friends who live nearby and the fire department to know as well so they could respond immediately. Thankfully there's a device that can do just that: the Kidde RemoteLync Monitor.

Photo credit: Kidde

The RemoteLync Monitor is unique in that it syncs up to your home wireless network. It monitors your home 24 hours a day (no monthly fees whatsoever), listening for either your smoke or CO alarms to sound off. Once this happens it will notify you, and anyone else you set up within the downloadable app, via email, SMS or within the app itself. I met up with one of the Kidde reps at the Dad 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, and they agreed to send me one to try out in our home. I have to say, this little device definitely helps put my mind at ease when I'm out of the house. 

Once I downloaded the app to my iPhone, the setup could not have been easier. It found our wireless router without any issues, heard our smoke detector after I put it in test mode, and I was able to add as many contacts as I wanted. I can imagine that it will be a huge help in monitoring things when we're away on extended vacation, or even if Jodi and I leave Olivia with a sitter for a brief period of time. If a fire or carbon monoxide issue arises while we're out, we'll know about it right away and can act quickly to hopefully ensure that little to no damage is done. What happens if the source of the fire is your router or cable modem, you ask? I tested this out by setting both of ours on fire in a controlIed environment to see what would happen (Ok, maybe I just unplugged them. Same idea, right?) Within a minute or so the app popped up on my phone prompting me to plug the monitor back into the outlet and to use my phone as a hotspot/tether if needed. It seems like they have most of the angles covered with this device, which is nice to know.

Photo credit: me

I think about the safety of my wife, child and our home all of the time. I want to be there to protect them and make sure that nothing bad ever happens, but I know that is impossible. I'm glad that there are products like the Kidde RemoteLync Monitor out there to give me peace of mind and monitor things while we're not at home. I think it's fantastic that Kidde is using modern technology to facilitate with home safety, and I would recommend this to anyone who wants to keep an eye on things while they are away from home. My family is worth it, and I think yours is too.