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Jeremy saving his parents highlights the CRITICALITY of smoke and CO detectors

In September, I wrote about serious risks homeowners face.

One of which was fire – unsurprisingly.

Well, last week I got a call from Jeremy, my very good friend and business partner.

He was in Wales for his father’s birthday. His father has Parkinson’s disease.

He had just got back from the hospital, where he had been in the ER with his parents.

That night, as they were in bed, the fire alarm went off.

In Jeremy’s own words:

Very serious! I was just falling asleep when all the alarms went off so took me a few seconds to react (thought my dad was cooking something and had set them off initially until I opened the bedroom door to acrid smoke).

He had tried to put some wood into their wood-burning stove and somehow set fire to some clothes my mum was drying on a rack near the stove.

This then set fire to the chair [see image below] he has for his Parkinson’s and from which all the acrid smoke/fumes came. Only took a minute or so from the alarm going off to flames up to the ceiling.

He was in the thick of it trying to smother it but was spreading it around.

I managed to get him and my mum out (she was trying to drag him away) and threw some bowls of water across the room at it from the kitchen while screaming to my mum to get the hose from the animals’ water (that’s when I swallowed a load of smoke I think).

I was near the open front door and then lay down on the floor to spray the hose.

It went out pretty quick but smoke was awful.

I feel quite shaken by the whole thing. [Actually, a couple of days later, he told me he was very traumatized by the whole thing.]

Imagine if there were no smoke detectors! There is a significant likelihood that they would have all died.

The fire grew so quickly – for real!

Please, if you have expired smoke detectors or don’t test them regularly – replace them and get a testing schedule on your calendar.

I emphasize: "Only took a minute or so from the alarm going off to flames up to the ceiling".

A final word from Jeremy on the fire:

"Amazed how so much heat/smoke produced by the chair foam and plastic. Horrible."

Father's chair produced acrid smoke

To me, that looks like not much chair burnt for a LOT of smoke.

This holiday season, please remember that a Christmas tree is always a fire hazard. See this Texas government fact sheet on Christmas tree safety.

Also, here is a good video on Christmas tree safety:

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