Monday, December 15, 2008

Use Your Head

This time of year you read about people and families dying or suffering tragic house fires in most cases caused by the lack of common sense than any other cause. Especially around the Holidays it seems more prevalent, and thus a greater sadness.

Our area suffered a major ice storm yesterday leaving many people in the surrounding towns without power. I have heard from some affected it will be Tuesday at the earliest four days from now when power will be restored. Many lost power in the early morning hours on Friday meaning they will be without for five days.

Every year no matter the warnings on television, or radio people always make the same foolish mistakes, it will not happen to me, I know what I am doing. What mistakes are those you ask? The first one is pride I am not going to ask anyone for help I can tough it out on my own. I don't need to go to a shelter for warmth, and running water only wimps and old folks do that. Second, its my house I am staying with it no matter what. This one happens every season not just winter. Third, I know how to survive in the woods I used to, or still camp out in the summer.

These attitudes all though good for some things are not so good when you take risks and use things in away they are not intended to be used. I marveled at the lid on a coffee cup that says "Caution Contents May Be Hot," but in today's litigious society it had to be done. Some moron put a steaming hot cup of coffee between her legs with the lid off and drove off, you know the rest of the story. When people lose power and heat they also seem to lose brain cells.

It is fine to use candles for a romantic dinner or even to help light a room during a black out provided you take the proper precautions. Don't just put up candle sticks over the house so you can see where your going. You should be using the hurricane jar type candle with the proper hood so the glass does not get to hot, and that should be placed on top of a plate designed to hold them. This helps prevent fires from the candle stick falling over, or getting knocked over.

Even more dangerous than fire from candles is when people use items in away not intended to try and stay warm. I am especially talking about those who use camping gear such as propane stoves heaters and charcoal grills in a closed environment such as house. The danger in this is from carbon monoxide an odorless colorless gas you basically fall a sleep and that's the end of life.

People, please use your heads. If you find yourselves
without power and it will be a few days, do the smart thing for your family and go to a hotel or a shelter. Their life may depend on it.


Walt Trachim said...

We were fortunate up here, John - we didn't lose power in my little neck of the woods. Many, many other people did, however. And there are many who still don't have power.

Fortunately there are still shelters and warming stations open up this way. I just hope that people remember to take advantage of them if they need to.

Laura said...

John, good advice and post. I just occurred to me that we should also be better prepared. Have flashlights with batteries, radios with batteries, chargers for the cell phones in our cars. Water, and pull-tops for our canned products. Food supplies which are not perishible, and not only know where our peoople are, but have a method of contacting each other.Sometimes people use heating devices risking their health because of ignorance. Courses should be given on survival. I just learned today that you can turn your water off and run the water out of the pipes, in order to keep them from freezing, then go to a shelter.

linda said...

1 day with out heat is one thing but 2 or more days can be a disater. it helps to think about these things in advance not when they happen.the day to buy and learn to use a generator is not the day the power goes off.linda