A few weeks ago, my tiny town suffered a horrific tragedy. An older home caught fire in the middle of the night and killed one adult and his four grandchildren. The grandmother made it out of the house in time saying that a smoke alarm woke her up. In our little community, this was an extremely big loss and we were all left wondering how this could happen. When we read in the local newspaper that a smoke alarm had gone off, we wondered why the other five people did not hear it in time.
As the cold sets in and we all prepare for winter, please take a moment to check all of the smoke detectors in your house. Check them regularly and keep extra batteries on hand just in case. We will all be turning our furnaces on soon and it is a good idea to make sure that all of the smoke detectors in your home are working properly. It is recommended that when you set your clocks to coincide with daylight savings changes you also check the batteries in your smoke alarms. Doing so more often is an even better idea.
I live in a small house that is only about eight hundred square feet. There are four smoke detectors in the main level and one in the basement. I have also put up a carbon monoxide detector in the sleeping quarters. Practically every home has several smoke alarms but fewer than necessary have carbon monoxide detectors.
Please go out today and get enough carbon monoxide and smoke detectors for every area of your home. If you have alarms but they are too far away from your sleeping area, they may not be able to warn you in time. Breathing in smoke or carbon monoxide for only a few minutes is enough to render you unconscious and in serious danger. This of course happens more quickly to children.
The children who died last month ranged in age from thirteen years to thirteen months. The oldest was a strong and healthy football player who should have been able to get out of that house. The only way this situation makes sense to me is if the smoke detectors in the house did not all work properly. Please read these words and commit to taking action before you learn this lesson the hard way as my little town did. Fire spreads quickly and can be uncontrollable within seconds. Protect yourself and your family every way that you can. Be thoughtful and proactive when it comes to the safety of your family.