I know they’re ugly. I’ve used the same excuses:
- I don’t have the room
- It clashes with my decor
- It’s awkward and I don’t know how to use one anyway
- I can’t afford to spend the money to purchase one right now
I’m talking about a fire extinguisher, of course. But you probably already guessed that.
But do you know what the ultimate truth is – you can’t afford NOT to have one.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, kitchen fires kill an average of 40 people every year, injure 5,400 more, and cause 1.1 billion dollars in property damage.
I should know because my family had a fire that started in the kitchen.
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I still remember the day very clearly. I had been to the hospital earlier in the day for a minor procedure. The hubby had left the house to pick up Butterfly and Music Man from Vacation Bible School at our church and only Bubba and I were at home.
I remember Bubba coming into the office where I was playing solitaire on the computer and asking if I was making popcorn because he thought he smelled it burning. He walked on towards the kitchen – I can hardly believe I didn’t get up and go with him since he’d mentioned a burning smell, but hey, I was still partially medicated – and within just a minute he came running back in to inform me that there was smoke coming out of the dryer.
I jumped up and ran to the kitchen. Stupidly, I yanked open the dryer door and when I did …whoosh!
Immediately, flame roared out of the dryer. I slammed the door shut but it was too late. The damage was done.
It’s astounding how fast a room fills up with smoke.
I immediately told Bubba to take the phone outside and call 911 to report the fire. I began searching for the fire extinguisher that I had insisted HAD to be mounted on the wall of the garage because it was too ugly to be mounted in the kitchen where it would be closer to the stove or washer and dryer.
I was really regretting that decision now. You wouldn’t think that a room can fill up with smoke in under a minute, but it can. Before I could even cross the kitchen to get to the garage door the smoke was getting to the point where I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t see.
I’d like to say that my brain kicked in and that I made a rational decision to leave the house, but that would be a lie.
Oh, I left the house, alright. But it wasn’t a rational decision. The simple fact was that I couldn’t breathe and my eyes were burning. I guess somewhere in the back of my medicated brain was a rational desire for fresh air, but it was instinct rather than intellect that made the decision for me.
Fortunately, the local fire department was having a practice when Bubba’s call was answered. They were at our house in mere minutes. I remember standing on the corner across the street and being thankful that everyone was out of the house and not really caring much about anything burning on the inside. It’s funny how life gets put into perspective during moments like that.
But I do remember mentally slapping myself on the head for insisting that the fire extinguisher not be put in the kitchen. All of my reluctance was replaced by the crystal clear thought that the fire extinguisher wasn’t going to be nearly as ugly as a charred kitchen was going to be.
Well, we were lucky. We did lose possessions but it was minimal. Ironically, more possessions were damaged by water and smoke than from the actual fire. But that’s another story that I’ll tell you one day.
Why you need a fire extinguisher
The takeaway is this – YOU’LL WISH FOR THAT FIRE EXTINGUISHER TO BE CLOSE BY IF YOU EVER NEED IT!
Now, I hope that you never find yourself in the situation of needing it in the first place. But life can change in an instant and you never know what’s around the corner.
I thought about how different the outcome might have been if all of my children had been home. What if the fire had started during the night? What if the fire department hadn’t been able to respond as quickly? And I swore right there on that street corner that I wouldn’t ever come up with a reason not to have a fire extinguisher close and handy ever again.
It’s easy to give yourself a little peace of mind. However you choose to get one into your house, please do so – for your sake and for your family. It’s easy – https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=fire+extinguisher
After all, red is a pretty color. It sure beats charred black.