Saturday, March 10, 2007

For Your Own Safety & Those You Love

This week a deadly blaze in NYC claimed the life of 8 children and 1 adult.

And so I’m joining the ranks of those who are taking the opportunity to remind you when you set your clocks ahead tonight, please change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

I’ve seen first hand the damage that fire can do. I won’t quickly forget the night that Kevin was called out to something that sounded minor, and hours and hours later still hadn’t come home. Only because the fire department was already out did they see the fire in its early stages. It destroyed a business, but not before they’d managed to rescue the business documents from the office. Kevin said he was picking up boxes that were on fire and putting the flames out as he removed them from the building.

Of course, I blogged about that back in the summer.

Want to read another account of a fire and see some amazing photos? Drop by Gabriele’s and read about the recent fire she witnessed.

My grandmother Shaughnessy died in a house fire. Taking a few moments to replace the batteries could make the difference between life and death. Don't think it couldn't happen to you.

And in other news...

It’s about time those who publish stuff under the umbrella of journalism who fabricate their stories started to pay damages. Maybe journalists will think twice before they jump the gun and start jumping to conclusions without checking their facts. Good for Kate.

Keep your shorts on. Alberta’s booming economy blamed for an outbreak of syphilis. Bet that 15 year old had fun explaining this one at home, but really, it’s no laughing matter.


Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

We check our smoke detector batteries frequently because I'm worried the chain smokers in the downstairs apartment are going to burn us all to death some night.

We're moving back out to the sticks as soon as our lease runs out.

Christa M. Miller said...

It's not just about the batteries... it's also about having the thing connected to begin with.

My 3-year-old is afraid of the smoke detector. Sometimes I cook things that generate lots of smoke. As tempting as it is to disconnect the the detector, we don't. We ventilate instead. Why? Because we KNOW we'd both forget to reconnect it.

So change batteries, and don't disconnect.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Patrick, that was one of the things I didn't like about townhouses/apartments. You have no control over what your neighbours do.

Christa, that's true as well. I never disconnect because I can't reach the darn things.

Anonymous said...

No one's immune either. Back in mid-February the home of a fire chief in my town caught fire. The smoke detectors went off and the chief got his family out. Then for some reason, he went back into the house. He was found unconscious inside the doorway (um, a tip, don't go back in once you're out).

The chief ended up being hospitalized for severe smoke inhalation, but his family is fine. All due to working smoke detectors. norby

Jack Ruttan said...

I'd rather say publishers who don't get sources from their writers should foot the bills for misfired or badly-researched stories that they print. (don't get me started, but there's too much emphasis on "sexy" or exciting stories in the media, giving a screwed up idea of the world. Like when did you ever hear a story from Africa about people getting along?)

Jack Ruttan said...

And just try to sell said story (eg. about happy grandmas taking care of their neighbours' children), if you're a freelance writer. Do they really have the power to say what goes in the paper? Should they take the fall?

Sandra Ruttan said...

Norby, yikes. At least they had them, but yeah, do NOT return to a burning building. He should have known he couldn't do it without his BA and turnout gear.

Jack, good point. I suppose there's both. I've seen some really reckless stuff posted on forums/blogs that are generally cited as industry but they really seem to be about smearing people. I don't know who calls the shots on that, but if you say you're reporting, you should take some responsibility.

Of course, this is why I couldn't stomach journalism and got out of it... Not like journalists don't have choices. I made mine.

Jack Ruttan said...

I've demurred doing a cover story smearing a famous person, then seen such stories published under a one-time only name. And after you turn down a gig, do you think you can freelance for that paper again?

Principles are expensive.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yes Jack, they are.

I wish there was a way to stop publications from printing that stuff.