An average of 210 homes catch fire at the expense of a Christmas tree.
An average of 210 homes catch fire at the expense of a Christmas tree.
December 13, 2016 7:00 AM CST

The philosophy of domestic safety

Recognize the gravity of domestic protection

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Growing up in a whirl of masonry jargon and safety lectures, it was expected that I, being the daughter Brazos Masonry’s head safety director, Zach Everett, would always be safety conscious. Though our family of six females and only two fun-loving males was hardly at risk to engage in fatally dangerous activities, our father would step in to monitor any outside threats to our safety. He treated safety as treasured knowledge and a philosophy to follow at home, not just as binding laws to be upheld on construction sites.

Naturally, as we grew older, the boundaries of safety and masonry involvement gradually loosened. Little did I know that, at the tender age of 17, I would marry into yet another masonry family. My husband, working as an estimator and project manager, has frequently worn the hat of a safety man as well. Through life experience and the observance of paramount role models, I believe in the importance of transmitting safety principles from work to home, children’s domestic safety, and esteeming safety as a philosophy.

Despite having a safety director as the head of our household, family activities were far from dull. All eight of us, stretching from toddlers to parents, delved into whitewater rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, and sky diving (my father never conceded to the toddlers skydiving). All the while, the safety principles from my father’s work life were bleeding over into our family endeavors. Being the second born of six children, I was allowed to accompany my elder sister, Meagan Trayler, as our father brought us into Mexico to an orthodontist appointment. I was 12 years old at the time, and we had to walk on foot over the border, leaving about 15 minutes of exposure through the streets of Mexico.

In this instance, as the three of us walked hastily along through numerous stares and probing observances, myself taking up the rear, a grown man got caught up quickly behind me, picking up loose change off the street and insisting that I had dropped it. This compelled me to stop and claim it. I had carried no change. While I was in no fatal circumstance, Father still took his two adolescent girls by the hands and herded us in a direct path toward the orthodontist’s office. Children’s safety is, without equal, of eminent importance.

Lessons on the gravity of domestic safety are often learned the hard way, and at the least expected times. For instance, for many people globally, Christmas is in the air. However, every year, an average of 210 homes catch fire at the expense of a Christmas tree. Between the years of 1992 and 1996, out of the total 44,600 residential fires reported each year, 530 of them involved a Christmas tree. Amid the number of home structure fires between 2009 and 2013 (357,000), a devastating amount of 2,470 people died, and more than12,890 civilians were injured. Needless to say, this is a catastrophic amount of property damage among families. The weight of domestic safety cannot, at any time, be undervalued.

The culture of safety must be interwoven into the fibers of our lifestyle to secure our children’s protection. If taking those extra precautionary measures feels like a draining chore to check off of your to-do list, you are following safety as law, and not as a lifestyle. Growing up with parents who ensured that all of our endeavors were orchestrated in the safest way possible, the imprint of that lifestyle is now ingrained into their six individual children who will, one day, have families of their own. When it comes to family, carelessness can be costly, while safety brings success. The bleeding of your safety principles from work into your home, recognizing the gravity of domestic protection, and holding to safety as a philosophy are invaluable elements in the security of our families’ futures.

Originally published in Masonry magazine.


About the Author

Allison Everett Trayler can be reached at Allison.trayler@gmail.com.

 

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