Daily Archives: February 12, 2010

Smoke Alarmed

You don't want one of these landing on your doorstep, now would you?

I can’t even remember what today’s blog was going to be about because I am so tired I can barely speak.  Yesterday was a bit hectic, I’m still in the exhausted stage following last week’s migraine, I had choir practice in the evening and I was trying to get to bed early in preparation for a boomerang drive to London this morning to pick up the Aged Parent.

I returned from choir at 9pm, kissed The Boys fondly and got down to a bit of housework.  As I was tidying the kitchen, I thought “I’d better not leave those chicken bones lying in the pan in water, I’ll give them a bit of a boil before I go up, then finish the stock tomorrow ready for a nourishing soup on Saturday.  I put the pan on the stove, made a milky drink and … retired to bed.  I actually put my light out at 11.30pm, which is early evening for me, smug in the knowledge that I was going to have a long and restorative night’s sleep.

At 1.30am I sat bolt upright with the smell of smoke wafting through my bedroom door.  I hurtled downstairs to find the dining room full of smoke.  I opened the window, ran upstairs and got a wet towel to put over my head and gingerly opened the door to the kitchen, convinced that I would see flames roaring from the cooker.  There were no flames, but the smoke was so thick I couldn’t see anything at all.  I opened all the windows and the back door, soaked another towel in water, grabbed the pan from the stove, and dumped it on the wet track outside the house. 

I have asthma.  Smoke is really not good for me, but I think the wet towel over my nose and mouth saved the day.  It was 3.30am before I got back to bed and then I realised that my bedroom was smoky, so I had to cut a hole in the cling film covering my windows so I could open the windows and let the smoke out.  February is the perfect time for this.

The worst thing was that the smoke alarm did not go off.  It was checked when I moved in, but I haven’t tested it since and this is the point at which I remember that it was nearly a year ago since I moved in.  Check your smoke alarms.  I was incredibly lucky that there wasn’t an actual fire and it is only that I have a very keen sense of smell that I woke up in time to prevent one.

Everything is now cleaned up but the smell of smoke pervades everything.  Boy the Elder went to school in a coat that smelled of smoke and was teased unpleasantly all day because he smelled funny.  No sympathy from a pack of 12 year olds.

Check your smoke alarms.
Don’t start cooking when you’re knackered.
Be vigilant about checking appliances before you go to bed.
Rehearse a fire drill with the family inc assembly points and escape routes.

And one more thing – check your smoke alarms.

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Filed under Household Hints, Safety