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November 12, 2014 Previous day Next day

A couple and their one-year-old safely escaped a home fire this past weekend when they awoke to the sound of a smoke alarm shortly before 4 a.m. Upon exiting the home, Patrick Parker said he and his wife saw flames near a space heater. While the family escaped without injury, the home was destroyed.

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A working smoke alarm enabled a family of three to escape an early morning fire without injury, while the home was destroyed.

“This is a classic case of a smoke alarm doing what it’s supposed to do,” said Fire Chief Andy Riley of the Dandridge, Tennessee, Fire Department. “Now is a good time to check your own smoke alarms and make sure they are in good working order.”

Smoke alarms should be tested monthly. For smoke alarms that include a 10-year, non-replaceable battery, replace the entire smoke alarm if it begins to “chirp”, indicating that the battery is running low. For smoke alarms that use regular batteries, you can replace the batteries once a year, or before then if they begin to chirp.

Also, as temperatures begin to drop, it’s important to make sure your home heating equipment is functioning and used properly. Check out our home heating section, which offers tips and recommendations for ensuring a warm, fire-safe season in the months ahead.

Hot PotsLast weekend, my husband and I treated ourselves out to dinner, but instead of being served, we took the food preparation into our own hands. We were at a Hot Pot restaurant, seated at a table for two with a burner built into it.

As the large soup pot bubbled with broth, we dropped in leafy vegetables, mushrooms, noodles, and thinly sliced frozen chicken and beef. My husband was having a grand time. He’d never dined at a Hot Pot restaurant before and was eager to see how the dish he was cooking tasted. Perhaps he was a little too eager.

When I looked across the table at him, he was hunched over with his hand clamped to his mouth and his eyes pressed shut. He’d forgotten to let his food cool before taking a hearty spoonful.

NFPA’s Scald Prevention Safety Tips sheet tells us that hot liquids can cause devastating injuries and that scald burns are the second leading cause of all burn injuries.

• Burns need to be treated right away.
• Cool the burn with cool water for 3 to 5 minutes.
• Cover with a clean, dry cloth.
• Get medical help if needed.

Fortunately, my husband quickly recovered and we were soon enjoying our meal. He is now a Hot Pot enthusiast and realizes that one of the keys to a fine dining experience is practicing a little patience.

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