This week I’ve been reading VARIETY FAIR, a tattered
little household digest that graced my mother’s kitchen for as long as I can remember.
Published in 1948 by the Altar Guild of St. James Catholic Church in Searcy, it
contains recipes and lots of homemaking tips, some still useful. Others,
not so advisable. Much has changed in 66 years.
Found under the heading of Safety in the Home
A few fire crackers
placed at each corner of the basement and attic will improve your chances
of being awakened in case of a fire at night.
Repeat after me: Thank God for smoke alarms!
If we replace our smoke alarm batteries as suggested when we
change our clocks for Day Light Saving Time, we can feel pretty secure. After
a close call at our house last year, I want to suggest that you add another
item to your check list: Your Fire Extinguisher.
We’ve had a fire extinguisher hanging on the garage
wall just outside the kitchen door since we moved to this house 26 years ago. The same fire extinguisher. I’m not sure
how often anyone looked closely at it in all that time. I never did. That is, not
until one evening last year when a lithium battery Terry was recharging for his
radio-control airplane went up in flames on our kitchen counter.
Lithium batteries are powerful, but safe as long as
handled properly. Occasionally one gets damaged if a plane crashes or has a
hard landing. For safety, they store and transport those batteries in special fireproof
pouches and keep an eye on them during charging. That's the reason they were on the kitchen counter. Our kitchen and den are connected and open enough for Terry to monitor it.
Good thing—because there we were,
watching a NCIS rerun in the den, when I heard a loud whoosh behind me. Looking around, I saw two-foot-high flames leaping from the batteries.
We both jumped up and ran into the kitchen. Terry
grabbed the fire extinguisher while I did a little “Oh, my gosh” dance nearby. One
of us unplugged the charger—probably him.
But the extinguisher was USELESS. It was out of date!
My quick-witted husband grabbed long-nosed
pliers from a drawer, pulled the wires away from the charger and dropped the
burning battery on the tile floor. Regrouping fast, he picked it up again and carried it to the patio while I filled a bucket with water. Finally, we dumped the smoldering mass into the water and left it outside for a couple of days before he disposed of it.
It all happened in a flash. We still think about how
amazing it was that nothing beyond the battery was damaged. The granite counter
top, thankfully black, withstood the heat, and the tile floor didn’t crack. There was plenty
of black carbon to wash off of surrounding areas, but only a couple of small
plastic items were pitted by sparks.
We bought a new fire extinguisher and a new airplane
battery. Terry still loves his planes, but now he charges those batteries on the concrete drive just outside the open
Here's my favorite plane.
You can bet from now on, we’ll
check that fire extinguisher on a regular basis because we know we were very fortunate,
and we are extremely grateful.
Please check your fire
extinguisher TODAY to be sure it’s still serviceable.
If you don’t have a fire
extinguisher, go straight to the store and buy one right now.
Don’t put it off. It could save your home or your very life.
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,
Labels: fire extinguishers, Fire safety