Friday, May 07, 2010

Holy Smoke

Jeremiah and I attended a fire safety dinner a few weeks ago. It wasn't a sales-pitch, but we did opt to have a representative come to our home for a fire safety evaluation. We ended up purchasing some new smoke/fire alarms, 2 fire extinguishers, a fire ladder and a carbon monoxide alarm. They were pretty spendy, but we really felt like it was a good idea, especially since only a couple of weeks before I'd had some thoughts about our fire insurance and came home to find our gas furnace on the fritz. When we had it fixed we learned that the circuitry had either caught fire before or was close to it when we noticed the problem.

Today I was outside doing some yard work and the kids were inside watching TV. The stinkin' trim line on the weed-whacker kept getting stuck. One of the times when I had to stop to fix it, I heard the smoke alarm going off. I ran in the house to find my kitchen full of smoke. I did a quick panoramic sweep of the kitchen and saw that it was coming from the microwave. I remembered I'd told Kenley she could make some popcorn while she and Jack watched TV. I'm not sure how long she'd put it in there for but 21:00 was left on the timer. I peeked through the door and saw that the popcorn wasn't on fire...yet. I told the kids to get out front and then I took the charred bag out of the microwave. Luckily, it never caught on fire and I was able to air out the house pretty quickly.

Here are some things I learned from this experience:
*The new alarms were a good investment. The old alarms that are wired in didn't go off at all . The new alarm that was sounding was placed right next to the original smoke alarm.
*Even though Kenley has made popcorn by herself several times, she really should still have some supervision.

*Hewitt will sleep through the smoke alarms. He didn't even stir and he was in the same room, directly under the blaring alarm.

*We need more fire drills. After we purchased the alarms we had a family night about fire safety and set off the alarm so the kids would recognize it and we practiced our escape routes. But when the alarm was going off Kenley and Jack sat firmly planted in their seats watching Jimmy Neutron.

*Burned popcorn really stinks.

*Ability to burn popcorn may be hereditary. Jeremiah set a bag of microwave popcorn on fire in Mexico during our honeymoon. The condo stunk so bad and we had to throw the ruined bag out on the balcony. I still tease him about it cause that's pretty much all I've got on him.


Jackie said...

Gwen. . .you make me laugh. . . Tell yo' momma I said "HI".

Katie said...

That is totally scary. Little everyday miracles, huh? I'm glad that weedwhacker got stuck, and I'm super glad everyone's okay!