Saturday, February 03, 2007

Oh, the irony!

Last night we went to TGI Friday's with my mom and dad and Andrew's mom and dad. My dad won a free dinner there...and the dinner was really good. But as with most free things, there was a little bit of a cost. This time we had to listen to a "fire safety presentation." The presentation really wasn't so bad to sit through. I learned a lot of things that I didn't know before. Living on your own is kind of strange. Neither Andrew nor I knew how often you needed to change your furnace filter or that you should vacuum out your lint hose... You learn something new everyday.

I have to admit that, as bad as this sounds, my favorite part of the presentation was the article about the fire station burning down in Draper, UT. The fire alarms in the station never went off and all the firemen were sound asleep inside...I just thought it was too ironic that a brand new fire station that is completely up to code would burn down as the firemen were sleeping.

After dinner, Andrew's parents came over so that his mom could help us fix our blinds. We are slowly getting our spare room ready for baby and noticed that the blinds had so many extra slats in them that it could have reached all the way down to the floor and the pull cord was so long and knoted in multiple places creating quite the strangling hazard for a baby. The other blinds in our house are fine, but the one in the child's room--a complete mess. That's the same room that the previous owners had their 2 year old son in. It doesn't make any sense to me.

Anyway, Andrew's mom, being the good mom that she is, tried to teach Andrew how to fix them instead of fixing them for us. Now, I think Andrew is pretty amazing, but sometimes he struggles with things: like fixing blinds. Basically he had to do the same steps 6 times, but each time he did it, he had to ask his mom how to do it again...

They then moved onto the furnace room to replace our filter and check on our lint hose (which had come completely off our dryer and was spewing lint all over the place. If that's not a fire hazard, I don't know what is).

While Andrew is struggling with the furnace filter, Piper phoned. She and Abra had been online looking at their elf names (aka: what their names would be if they were one of Santa's little helpers). My name was not too bad, Twinkle Stocking Stuffer. But Andrew's name was just too funny (and dare I say, suiting), Ditsy Helper. The kids voted on it and decided that his name was the funniest so he won a phone call from Piper, absolutely free, except for the teasing that he'll get for his name, of course.


Now I should finish up our fire safety catch: we "had" to write a time to meet with our representative so he could give us an estimate on what it would cost to install smoke detectors in our home. We scheduled our time for 9 am this morning...not that we really wanted a salesman in our home, but because we figured if we didn't schedule a time we'd be getting a phone call.

He came. Stayed for 10 minutes and left. See, the average package for these systems is $2000-3000, because they "actually work." After trying to scare us into purchasing their system last night by using a lot of statistics for their benefit, I did a little research on the internet and am no longer completely convinced of their superiority. I know that the internet isn't always a reliable source for information, but since when is a salesman?

We simply told him that we didn't have $2000 to put into a smoke detector. He told us we could purchase one unit for $400--that it would be an investment. We told him we didn't have that kind of money to invest in a smoke detector. He told us we could purchase a similar model at Lowe's for $25, but that their instruction manual states that it "is not a lifesaving device."

Although this company claims that their smoke detector is a life saving device, I'm not sure I would put my life in its hands. After all, if it goes off in the middle of the night, and I get out of bed, but my foot gets all tangled in the sheets and I sprain my ankle in the process, is it going to jump off the ceiling and carry me out of the house. I don't think it will.

As a lifeguard/swim instructor I would teach my students the saying, "Swim with a buddy in a supervised area." We would then discuss what a "buddy" is. A "buddy" is a mommy or daddy or other grown up that will swim with you to help you if you get in trouble. A "buddy" is not a rubber ducky or even a life jacket because they can't save your life.

I think that a smoke detector is a great thing to have, but under no conditions will it search the house for me if I am already unconscious. It won't carry me out if I break my leg. It won't run back in and get my baby. No, I think my family, friends, and neighborhood fire department would qualify as a "buddy" in this case.

And, by the way, we do have a smoke detector.


  1. You are so right, Nancy.

    Also, FYI, Costco sells a four-pack of self-install smoke detectors, with the screws and everything, for something like 20 bucks.

  2. Our smoke dector, is wired right into our house. So... on occasion when I burn food (see, I need a blue bowl) The smoke detector goes off. In our old house, we could then unplug it from the battery. Not the case with this! We have to suffer through the noise, plus all our neighbours know that I have attempted to cook - again!

    Actually, on an aside,
    I DO have a blue bowl! I noticed it this morning! IT's a big blue bowl that we usually reserve for popcorn because of its size. Once, I put it on the stove and the plastic melted on the bottom... Alas, thank goodness for blue bowls because it didn't melt a hole through and thusly is still quite useable!