The sight that greeted him upon entering the room was a parent’s worst nightmare. Flames shot up from the iguana tank, perched atop our son’s dresser. The dog barked frantically from the bed beside the sleepy 10 year old, who was just rousing himself.
Jim grabbed the flaming iguana tank, dashed down the stairs and out the front door, tossing it into the yard and dousing the fire with dirt.
Roscoe the iguana was not harmed in the making of this nightmare.
In fact, the iguana was the cause of the mayhem, because he had a bad habit of sitting on top of his lamp shade – which is what actually caught on fire, having been mashed down onto the light bulb.
The scene could have turned into a tragedy, had we not had a dog. The fire alarm didn’t go off until Jim was already in our son’s room.
Moral of the story: Get a dog. It’ll bark if there’s a fire.
That one time I caught my kid on fire
Birthday parties can be fire hazards, so make sure your kid wears anti-inflammable clothing when attending.
Luckily, it was just her sleeve, but I was the one lighting the cake.
A few thoughts surrounding the safety of your family are in order at this juncture.
“I preheated the oven, not realizing the cardboard cookie box was inside. It was not on fire.”
Here’s a tip:
-Don’t store things in the oven
Especially not giant cookie cake cardboard boxes.
-Keep a fire extinguisher
And know how to use it.
-Blow out candles when leaving the house
No-brainer. But again, I’ve done it. (This is one of those “do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do” posts).
-Don’t burn dinner
Stay in the kitchen with your food. Invariably the peas overflow on me, but that doesn’t count – there’s still fluid.
It’s easy to get distracted. Which leads to the next point.
-Turn oven burners off when you’re done
Um, yeah. Don’t talk to my husband after reading this post. Suffice it to say he goes behind me turning things off.
-Warn your people when you’ve had a burner on.
There have been a few occasions of melted plastic plates and bread wrappers. Keep the family aware.
-Change batteries out of fire alarms.
Usually, you’ll hear a piercing, heart-stopping beep when the batteries run down. (Most likely in the middle of the night.)Replace batteries in your fire alarm immediately. You could save a life. Click To Tweet
Keep batteries on hand, it’s just that important.
-Don’t leave an iron unattended atop an ironing board.
Always put the iron away when you’re done (and put the ironing board up), protect your babies and children from knocking it over.
-Don’t put forks, tin, or aluminum foil in the microwave
…Or was that a hotdog she blew up? That happened too.
Make sure you kids know the microwave rules.
And while you’re at it, explain which dishes are microwavable. Most dishes are made that way these days, but some older types are not.
Be aware and educate your kids!
-Turn lights off when leaving
You might not think of this as a hazard, but it is.
Once, upon returning home, my husband detected a burnt smell. He tracked down the culprit – my daughter had left her bedroom lamp on and the cord was hot and deteriorating.
God saved the house yet again.
-Don’t leave appliances running while you’re gone.
It’s hard sometimes, but it’s just safer that way.
Allow me to share my dryer story:
I was washing clothes in preparation for family vacation the next day. My daughter’s bedroom comforter tumbled in the dryer upstairs, while the family hung out downstairs in the living area.
Dog began to bark (again), we smelled burning, and ran upstairs. Upon opening the laundry room door, smoke billowed out – the dryer was on fire.
Poor ole gal just couldn’t handle the heavy blanket and had to be put out to pasture.
Had we not been home, we could have lost everything.
Consequently, we didn’t leave on vacation the next day because we had to go dryer shopping.
“I will always be at my station, alert and attending to my duties” ~ taken from The Firefighter’s Creed
As you can tell, we learned a lot of lessons by doing the wrong things. At the risk of sounding like a clueless idiot trying to raise kids (which I was), I felt the need to pass on this information to you.
Because a lot of times we're not aware of potential fire hazards in our home. Click To Tweet
Put on your fireman’s awareness helmet. Don’t leave your dryer on while you’re gone. Or the washer, dishwasher, lights, oven, iron, or anything else that uses electricity for heat. Blow out the candles.
You could lose your home, or more importantly, a life.
And by the way, Penelope the Pug never barked unless she smelled smoke or my dad came to visit.
(But granddaddy and Penelope’s love/hate relationship will have to wait for another time).
I wasn’t kidding about getting a dog, though…