October has been designated “fire safety month” because the historic Great Chicago Fire happened in October 1871.
These days, fire safety comes to our attention thanks to fire house pancake dinners and open houses geared toward parents and kids.
But today, as I sat at my home office computer crafting an especially inspirational email, I heard sirens which seemed to be getting closer.
Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Engine 2 suddenly roared down the street stopping in front of my neighbor’s house.
Firefighters were scrambling, and I knew that their house must be on fire.
A cloud of white smoke came out the door.
As far as I could tell, four engines and two ladder trucks quickly set up operations as more white smoke poured out.
Luckily, the fire was quickly put out and no one was hurt, but, it was a reminder why smoke detectors are still essential.
As it turns out, the smoke detector wasn’t working and if this had happened at 4:00 A.M., then lives would have been lost.
Test Your Smoke Detectors
Some readers may remember my monthly newsletters back in the 1990’s when I would dedicate an issue to replacing batteries in your smoke detectors.
My mission began one morning when reading The Washington Post, and I noticed an article about a town house fire in Falls Church. It was on a street where some clients lived, and then it mentioned that “a couple had escaped the early morning fire.”
I drove over to Scott and Jeannie’s to see that their townhouse had a burned thanks to a neighbor’s careless actions.
And she mentioned that she did not remember the smoke detectors going off.
After that experience, I started to mail clients 9-Volt batteries every October with a note reminding them to replace the batteries in their smoke detectors. These days, the USPS doesn’t like me to mail batteries.
Batteries are important, and remember that replacing older smoke detectors is important too.
With Fire Safety Month in mind, spend some time this weekend checking your smoke detectors, consider installing a CO or Carbon Monoxide detector, and move combustibles away from your gas furnace or gas hot water heater.