A Safety Story
"I think we're in trouble, Mom." I
tapped the paper I was holding. "I'm supposed to write down how
many smoke alarms we have. We don't have any smoke
alarms. Did you know that?"
My mother looked guilty. "Actually, we have
a boxful out in the garage that I bought at a yard sale last summer. I
haven't gotten around to batteries yet. It's on my list."
"They can't be on my list unless they're working."
I looked down at my homework. "We did horribly, Mom. We could die.
We don't even have a fire extinguisher."
My mother said quickly, "Yes we do!"
She reached behind the corner hutch and pulled out a very dusty red
metal cylinder. She blew on it. Dust flew everywhere.
"Does it work?" I asked dubiously.
"I admit," my mother admitted. "It
is rather old." My mother sort of laughed. "It's a great
assignment, Nancy - but it really doesn't apply to us.
We're absolutely safe. What could go wrong?"
"Lots," I told her seriously.
"Want to see my list?"
My mother took the list I handed her and looked
it over. She looked it over again more carefully. "The
window has a funny lock. I'll show you," she mumbled.
"As for the rest ... some of these things can be fixed right now,"
she said in a surprised sort of way.
Nancy's Fire Safety List
No smoke alarms (correction - no
working smoke alarms)
No fire extinguisher. (correction - 1
extinguisher, possibly working)
No escape plan
No emergency lights that come on when power
goes out (the kind you plug into an outlet so you can see to get
2 small cans flammable paint stored in
laundry room behind box of laundry soap
1 small can of flammable wood stain stored
Rags with wood stain on them in paper bag,
stored behind the stain.
Stacks of newspaper piled in garage waiting
for recycling day, stored next to water heater
1 extension cord with 8 things plugged into
1 frayed cord plugged into wall socket
(Grandma's beautiful old lamp that desperately needs rewiring)
Bunch of cords jammed behind headboard in the
bedroom to get them out sight - cords bent and tangled
Colorful fabric potholders hanging on the
wall above the stove
Small can of charcoal lighter fluid left on
deck, stored with bag of charcoal and the little grill
Grill resting on legs directly on wood deck -
not on a safety fire pad.
Window in back bedroom impossible for me to
open - may be painted shut.
Why are the items on this list
potential fire hazards,
and how do you fix them?
If you don't know the answers,
you will need to look them up.
See this site for help: FIRE