Last week we had some heavy winds roll through the Pacific Northwest where I live and, as a result, we had a tree branch break free and contact a power line. You can probably see the branch on fire but not the power line it’s touching:
Well, we called the fire department and they came out, but only stayed for several minutes before running off to deal with more pressing matters. Apparently this is normal for them when major wind storms hit the area.
Anyway, I wanted to point out that if it ever did cross your mind to grab a garden hose and try to put the fire out that it would be a VERY bad idea!
That’s because water and live power lines simply do NOT mix… you’ll likely be electrocuted trying to put out the fire.
Ultimately, the fire died out on it’s own and eventually the local power company came out and cut down the offending branch so no big deal, but it was alarming to see.
I made it a point to make this a teaching moment for my kids as well because who knows what they may try to do in the moment… and I’m reminding you as well.
Just the other day I’d decided to check on my smoke alarms and fire extinguishers and while I was at it have my youngest son try to put out a very small (and controlled) fire in our driveway just so he had an opportunity to hold and use a fire extinguisher which I don’t think I’ve ever had him do.
Well, as it turns out the first fire extinguisher I grabbed indicated “red” meaning it needed replaced; I gave it a try anyway… it was dead as a door nail. So I grabbed another one that indicated “green” and with a quick test THAT one didn’t work either!
I thought, “Uh oh… when’s the last time I checked these?” Believe it or not, I used to keep a good list of all the prepping tasks I needed to check on and when but, sadly, I can’t find the list anymore let alone remember the last time I even looked at it.
As it turns out it’s probably been a LONG time since I’ve actually looked at one of my fire extinguishers and, sadly, I found another one that needed replaced too. Surprisingly, the extinguishers I have in our vehicles still worked even though I would have assumed they–if any of them–would be bad since they’ve been exposed to both extreme hot and cold for many years… go figure.
The good news is that this has caused me to create a new prepping tasks list and, of course, to replace my fire extinguishers too.
I did briefly look into trying to refill them but apparently the type I have can’t (or shouldn’t) be refilled because they have plastic heads as opposed to metal ones and are prone to leaks… perhaps that’s why they don’t work any longer.
Anyway, just last night my wife was cooking dinner when the kitchen smoke alarm went off which isn’t unusual and so I didn’t bother to move from the basement couch as my wife was sort of yelling something incoherent which I did my best to ignore. As it turns out one of the burners had something stuck to it and caught fire. It wasn’t a big deal but I’ll take that as a sign I need to replace my fire extinguishers sooner rather than later, lol.
My suggestion: go check on your fire extinguishers and while you’re at it your smoke alarms just to be sure they’re still in working order.