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Confessions of a Fire Safety Skeptic

Until I began my journey on fire safety a few years ago, my 15 year old smoke detectors were all battery-less wall adornments.

The urgent pleas of our local fire department to “change your batteries” went unheeded.

Not because I thought my family was fireproof, but because the hassle of false alarms and dying batteries in the moment always outweighed the vague possibility of fire.

And then a house burned down.

Not my house, but next door to my sister, Valle, where she and her husband live with their son, Aidan.

Aidan is a self-confident college student with Down Syndrome. When asked what he would do in a fire, he responded that he’d get his shoes and get out of the house-fast!

Valle’s heart sank. Her family all drop their shoes at the kitchen door- the most likely room for a fire.

She knew that, faced with a wall of flames, Aidan would not know what to do.

Valle and I had often dreamt of ways in which I could bring my technology skills to assist with Aidan’s independence. Now it was a life-safety imperative, not a puzzle to noodle over on long hikes.

So I began my research. And I was astounded and appalled by what I discovered.

It is said, “there’s no zealot quite like a convert” and it’s so true for me! Because of what I have learned, what began as problem to solve for my nephew is now a campaign to save the world.

Stay tuned to this blog for upcoming pieces on smoke detectors, the nature of home fires, and even brain development (!)- all of which play important parts in our fire safety.

And please join me in saving the world by sharing with your friends and family.


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