A few weekends ago, we had planned to leave for the property on a Friday afternoon. My office had been given time off early Friday for the holiday and we were to leave when I got home. With Michael’s crazy schedule and the fact that our friend had need to cancel going with us, Michael and I decided we had more to do at home rather than on the property. We decided to stay home as well.
This proved to be a fortuitous set of events because later Friday, Michael and I went to the store and, as we were in the checkout line, we received this message from our 13 year old:
Needless to say, I was a bit worried and we hurried home. I felt a bit sick, because had we left, the house would have probably burnt down do to age of the building, etc. (In fact I posted about a house that burned down recently that was not quite as old as my house. Took only about an hour.)
I just have to put in here that my daughter is AWESOME! She put the fire out without panic and saved our house. We raised her to be very self-sufficient, and that paid off with this incident. An example of why I feel it is so important that we teach preparedness and self-sufficiency to our kids.
Anyway, we rushed home to check on her and to inspect the damage.
As you can see, this drawer was used for battery storage, and just about anything you would need for a power out. Candles, flashlights and matches were also housed here. It had been this way for 30 years – since my mother owned the house. This worked well, obviously, for those years, but something changed.
People began to store other items in the drawers, random things, like scissors.
Also, there was a set of old batteries. Some of their partners had popped when I placed them in a light, oozing acid. I thought I had gotten rid of all of those.
What apparently happened (I am not a fire marshal, I am just guessing) is that those scissors, came into contact with a pair of those cheap batteries, which caused them to arc and pop and catch fire in the battery drawer. You can see the arc marks on the scissors.
Again, I am so very grateful that our daughter was home to put the fire out. As I said, this drawer housed candles and just about all our matches. Had the fire jumped from the battery section to the matches section, this post would be much different. As it is, we had to throw out all our batteries due to possible heat damage and all the matches due to water damage. I tossed the melted candles, too.
The moral of this story is:
Don’t store metal objects with batteries, and always throw out damaged batteries. Also, it might be a good idea to store your matches separate from everything else.
I also encourage everyone to start thinking about what they would do in the event their house burned down. Where are your vital documents? Do you have a place to go, do you have money set asside to purchase clothes, etc, or do you have clothes available until your insurance kicks in? Do you kids know what to do if their house is on fire and you are not home?
Do you have any battery horror stories? Ideas on how you store your batteries? Please share in the comments below!
Check here for more on preparedness:
- Apartment Prepping – A Creativity Challenge
- The Value of a Thing…
- Proper Battery Storage (aka How I Almost Lost My Home)
- Alternative Heating Solutions
- Preparedness Books
- My Bug Home Bag
- EDC – Every Day Carry Bag
- Connected via Amateur Radio – South London Journal
- Thoughts on Evacuation and Kids