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Fire Preparedness Month
This Month is Fire Safety Month. This year it really hit home and I was glad we believe and practice fire preparedness. A few minutes is all it takes to keep your family safe. Let me tell you our story…
The fire alarm was going off. Again!
It had gone off every day for the last month.
I rolled out of bed, shuffled my way to the door, opened it, and was hit by a wall of smoke.
This was not a drill!
THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
The good news: the smoke cleared quickly enough for me to see through.
The bad news: I glanced around the corner to see that the stove was engulfed in flames that reached the ceiling and that our microwave was a melted heap of a mess.
I don’t know if any of you have ever awoken to a house fire, but you discover a lot about yourself in those few moments. Fortunately, I learned that I’m a fighter, not a flighter. I grabbed the fire extinguisher and, like a boss, I took those flames out.
And then my husband walked in.
“Oh crap, I forgot about frying my chimichanga,” he said.
Extinguisher still in hand, and turned to him for a little bit more of an explanation.
Apparently, somebody had left a grease-filled pan on the hot oven, stuck the frozen chimis in the microwave to thaw, and then… walked away?
When the fire extinguisher has been used it is important to get out of the area as it sucks up all the oxygen and could be dangerous to breathe. So we quickly opened up all the doors and windows to air the house out and went outside to wait for the smoke and fumes to die down. I turned around to ask my husband what on earth he was thinking when I saw him turn around and run back inside.
No, he did not go in to rescue any small animals or children.
He emerged from the smoke-filled house with his chimis – yes, the ones that had been thawing in the now-melted microwave – he propped himself against the trailer and was taking a bite out of one.
At this point, our neighbor noticed the chimichanga in my hubby’s hands and asked: “How’s that chimi?”
“The first one was fine. This second one is okay… it tastes a little bit like melted plastic, but not too bad.” Without missing a beat, like it was the most natural thing in the world, he then turned to me and said: ” You’re welcome, by the way.”
“‘For What?’” I asked. The fire that he started?!
“Yeah, I thought you could use a break from cooking this week,” He shrugged like this was an everyday thing.
“Ha!” My neighbor laughed. “Looks like his real intention here is to prove why you should never let your man cook.”
I guess I am always preaching positivity. Finding the Bliss in all things. He was just practicing what I preach. High Five to the hubby on his positivity thoughts!
This whole situation could have been an absolute mess. But there’s a bright side to everything (and I don’t just mean the light from the flames).
For one thing, our children could have been in the house and our entire house could have burned down, but all we really lost was the microwave and the upper cabinets. Oh, and those cabinets? They weren’t empty. We kept our cooking oil and old, brittle family cookbooks – AKA guaranteed fuel for flames – in those cabinets, and yet those all survived and just on the other side of the wall was all my family photo albums. The thought of those going up in flames has left me thinking of how to protect those. Ash was everywhere, it looked like it had snowed and even made it onto those photo albums but it is easily wiped away. Being married to a handyman the cabinets are a minor thing to fix, the microwave and stove easily replaced, but pictures are priceless!
I guess I won’t have to make dinner until we get a new stove! That’s always nice!
I see a kitchen remodel in my near future now that I need a new stove and cabinets, and I LOVE remodels.
I’ve been counting my blessings this week. We had a fire extinguisher and alarms in the house (sure those alarms were going off every day for no reason, but hey, they worked when we needed them to!) no one was hurt, and our most important possessions are all fine.
We cannot always prevent a fire from happening, but we can take steps to make sure that we have a plan in place in case of an emergency with a little fire preparedness.
Test your fire and smoke alarms
The test your smoke alarms… right now…. don’t wait for tomorrow!
Are they working? How old are they? Are they more than ten years old? The fire department recommends replacing smoke detectors every ten years. If not replace the batteries or get new smoke alarms. If you are unsure how old then just be safe and replace them anyway. They are fairly inexpensive and it’s better to lean on the over-cautious side.
When shopping for new smoke detectors, look for
- ‘Dual-Sensor’ smoke detectors
- Have at least one smoke detector on each level
- Have one in each bedroom
This week I encourage you to make sure your family is prepared. If you are in need of a new alarm you can order one here. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand as well. Do NOT keep it by the stove because when I arrived at my stove the cabinet next to it was already engulfed in flames. If you need one I recommend this one here.
I myself will be looking for a fireproof external hard drive similar to this one here to save all my pictures on for one of our fire preparedness. It would be a shame to lose all those treasured memories.
I know it is an investment to purchase some of these items, but preparedness is the key to protecting who you love the most.