14 February 2010

Smoke Happens

Mike's working this morning so I planned on some alone time with some crafty hobbies. I was ironing fabric when I smelled something horrible. I looked down at the transformer that the iron was plugged into and there was smoke pouring out of the ventilation slats. My first instinct was to open a window, but I went with my second instinct instead and unplugged everything. Then, since the handle was still cool to touch, I carried the transformer out to the yard. It was still smoking and it started making a crackling sound. I ran back inside, grabbed a fire extinguisher, took a few seconds to turn on a fan and open a window to prevent the smoke detector from going off, and ran back outside.

I've never used a fire extinguisher before and I was afraid it would be too heavy and unwieldy for me to handle. But it was easy. Pull pin. Aim. Pull trigger. I was able to stabilize it on the ground so I didn't get bowled over with recoil. The poof of stuff that came out was pretty exciting. And after the fog cleared it was easy to see that the transformer had stopped smoking and crackling. Yay! I'm a hero.

I have no idea if what I did, i.e., taking the time to move the transformer then taking the time to turn on fans, was the right thing to do, what the professionals would recommend. I took the chance and it worked for me in this instance, thank goodness.

The living room smelled noxious for awhile so I took that opportunity to lock myself in the master suite and take a shower. Luckily it's not raining, so I could open every window in the house to air out the smells. By the time I finished cleaning myself up, everything was fresh.

The lesson for today kids is to make sure you know where your fire extinguishers are and that you know how to use them. And if you are petite, have a smaller one on-hand alongside a full-size one. (I did use one of our smaller ones, but it can still be intimidating.)

3 comments:

A Daring Adventure said...

Oh, dear.

Reading that reminds me that we have *zero* fire extinguishers in our home.

I just don't think about it until I read a post like this one!

Glad you're okay!

Stephanie said...

We have just about every piece of safety equipment there is. Mike feels he can't advise others on safety and security if he's not living by example. It's kind of a hassle sometimes, but days like this make up for it.

Cara Lopez Lee said...

We only have 1 fire extinguisher in our house. I sometimes fear I'll have to use it someday and I won't be able to figure it out. I imagine forgetting the order - "pull pin, aim, pull" - or drawing a blank and searching for those very directions, until it's too late and the whole house burns down. Here's hoping I'm as fast-thinking as you... or better yet, that nothing in our house ever smokes or burns.

You're my hero du jour!

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