by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett
A friend of mine has fallen on hard times. With nowhere else to go, she was forced to go live with a mutual friend with a heart as big as Texas. Friend A's house is about 100 years old. It has knob-and-tube wiring. (And did I mention Friend A is also a bit of a hoarder?)
Friend A's home also has NO SMOKE ALARMS. Each room has only one electrical plug. Each room has more than one strip plug to carry the load.
NO SMOKE ALARMS. NOT UPSTAIRS. NOT DOWN.
PILES OF PAPER AND STUFF. (Although apparently not bad enough to call in the TV show for help.)
I reiterate, NO SMOKE ALARMS!!!!!
I told my pal (let's call her Beverly), "I'll buy you a smoke alarm."
She said, "No! Friend A wouldn't like that."
"You can keep it in your room."
"But what if it went off???"
Beverly said that another mutual friend (B) might be able to talk house-owner Friend A into allowing a smoke alarm to come into the home. (MIGHT ALLOW?)
I couldn't get hold of Friend B for three weeks, living in fear that Beverly and her new roommates would one night die a horrible death in a house filled with clutter and no way to know if it was on fire.
When I finally got hold of Friend B, she told me one of her neighbors had recently had a fire, and after seeing the devastation, she was sure she could convince Friend A to hang some smoke alarms.
(Did I also mention that homeowner Friend A and Beverly are disabled?)
So, I visited Home Depot and they now have smoke alarms and a CO alarm (goodness knows how old that furnace must be). The smoke alarms came with batteries guaranteed to work for ten years.
If you don't have a smoke alarm in your home, what are you waiting for? And if you do, please check those batteries!