Reminders: Fire!!!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Get one of these (above). NOW!

About a week ago, I went for a whiz early in the morning. The kids were just up and my husband had left to go to work. As I stood from my morning business, I glanced out the window and saw smoke rising in gentle poufs outside.

Not wanting to panic the kids, I pulled up my tracky dacks and very calmly and surreptitiously flung myself out the back door in a mild sprint with a restrained look of utter terror on my face. Alas, Ella said "What's wrong, mum?"

"Nothing!" I screeched as I disappeared around the side of the house. "Eat your cornflakes!"

When I got to the heating engine box (don't know the official name for this) attached to the side of our house, I stopped and stared, gasping and thundering chest. What appeared like steam was rising from the box. I relaxed slightly, then leaned forward in the morning silence, stuck my nose into the steam and sniffed.

Burnt rubber.

I tore inside again, flailing a little more this time. "What is it, mum?" said Ella. "Nothing, darling!!! Eat your yoghurt!!!!" I grabbed the phone. Called my husband. No answer. Naturally. Ran outside again. Hovered my thumb on 000. Wondered what the fine was for calling emergency when you're just a stupid, panicked housewife who doesn't even know what her heating engine box is called, let alone that steam coming out of it is normal.

"Hello? Emergency? I have steam coming out of my heating engine box!"

"Right, madam. That'll be $2,000 for a false fire report, thanks very much."

I hesitated. I called my husband again. No answer. I ran around the yard wildly, ran inside and turned off the heating. Ran back out to check the burnt rubber steam. Stopped.

All this took about eight seconds, PS.

I dragged myself back into the house and wrote on my To Do Today pad - "get my heating engine box serviced" and "buy a fire extinguisher".

Please buy your family a fire extinguisher. Today. Even if you do know what a heating engine box is called.


Lily said...

We have one that is easily accessible in the kitchen-- because we had a stove-top fire one day. It's amazing how you can know several ways to put out a fire, and none of them come to you when you actually have a fire.

No, my kitchen did not burn to the ground. My brain kicked in and I grabbed the baking soda (small fire-- nothing like a heating engine box thing).

smileybella said...

I was trained to put out cabin fires as a flight attendant, and when I was called to use one... like you said - you totally forget what to do.

Similarly your kitchen (phew!), the aircraft survived (double phew!)

Right, I'm off to read the extinguisher box just one more time!

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