The Smokey Return Home


Today was the Oregon Civil War.  It was fun and we had a great time at a friends house.  I had BBQ’d Porkbutt.  We did not take it all, so I left what I had in the pan and put it in the oven so the cats would not get at it.   After the game which was about 3 hours and a quick trip to the store on the way home, we got home.

Elliot was the first out of the car and into the house as normal.  I knew that something was up when he made a noise that meant alarm.  I cannot remember what he said, but I knew something was wrong.  He had gotten just inside the door and had turned on the lights.

SMOKE.  About down to my knees and I am 6″1′.  No flames, but I could not be sure.  The smoke was light from the waist down and I could see through all of it.  Think a medium sized fog in your house.  Thinking, I knew that we were all out, the dog and a couple cats were out.  Yelled to everyone to get back.  I went in to see where the source was.

I headed towards the kitchen (we have an open floor plan, so I could see a lot) to see the oven.  The Oven was on, but locked.  I opened it and saw that the BBQ Porkbutt was a Charcoal Nugget, smoking.  Great.That was it.  Yanked it out (with potholders) and took it outside.  I immediatly started opening every window in the house and airing it out.  W

While I did that, I realized that I was inhaling smoke, and it was not the basic campfire smoke.  The Porkbutt was covered in a plastic wrap, so it hurt my lungs with that.  I suspect that there was other items but I quickly covered my mouth with a towel and got the rest of the house open.

After my wife and I got everything open, and made sure all the animals were safe and we turned on every fan in the house including the AC to circulate the air/smoke out,we left for Grandma’s house.  The kids are spending the night.  On the way there, my son made a couple of smartalec comments that did not sit well with me.  To which, I stopped the car and explained to both of them, that this was the closet ever I had come to to having a fire in a house that I lived in.  I explained that it was not funny, but very serious and we are LUCKY tonight.  I asked him what he had in the car before he got somethings.  He told me.  I said, that if we did have a fire that all he had with him, is all he now had.  I let that sink it.  I think he and his sister got it.

So, my wife and I got home and we started the process of getting sheets and pillows and other things ready to be washed.  A million things going through our heads.  We talk about replacing this, that and the other.  We talk about how lucky we are.  The smoke has cleared, but the smell has not.  It’s not bad, but it will take work to get rid of.

As I go through the house, checking the smoke detectors, because they SHOULD have been going OFF, instead of beeping I realize one thing.  They failed.  Failed horribly.  We have a two level house and seven dectectors.  Three failed outright cause they were dead.  One had no battery and other two only beep.  Wow…..Amazing.  We could be DEAD if this happened at night.

So, what to do about this from here.  Well, we are going to contact a cleaning company that specializes in Smoke Damage.  It’s just really smelly here.  We are also contacting the insurance company to get that ball rolling.  There is just a lot to do.  My wife found a great document ( d13-17) that kind of helps.

However, what are the take aways for Scouting and you?

Tiger:

#3Fa – With your family, plan a fire drill and then practice it in your home.
I would also check every smoke alarm and carbon dioxide alarm in your place of living. Replace ones that do not work and replace batteries.

Wolves:

#9 BE SAFE AT HOME AND ON THE STREET

  1. Complete the Character Connection for Responsibility.
    • Know. Discuss these questions with your family: How does being responsible help us be safe? Within the past week, how did you show responsibility?
    • Commit. Discuss these questions with your family: What happens when people are not responsible? What things can make you forget to be responsible? What things will help you be more responsible?
    • Practice. Practice being responsible while doing the requirements for “Be Safe at Home and on the Street.”
  2. WITH AN ADULT, check your home for hazards and know how to make your home safe.
  3. WITH AN ADULT, check your home for danger from fire.

Elective #16 FAMILY ALERT

  1. Talk with your family about what you will do in an emergency.
  2. In case of a bad storm or flood, know where you can get safe food and water in your home. Tell how to purify water. Show one way. Know where and how to shut off water, electricity, gas, or oil.
  3. Make a list of your first aid supplies, or make a first aid kit. Know where the first aid things are kept.

Bears:

#11 BE SAFE AT HOME AND ON THE STREET

  1. Complete the Character Connection for Responsibility.
    • Know. Discuss these questions with your family: How does being responsible help us be safe? Within the past week, how did you show responsibility?
    • Commit. Discuss these questions with your family: What happens when people are not responsible? What things can make you forget to be responsible? What things will help you be more responsible?
    • Practice. Practice being responsible while doing the requirements for “Be Safe at Home and on the Street.”
  2. WITH AN ADULT, check your home for hazards and know how to make your home safe.
  3. WITH AN ADULT, check your home for danger from fire.

Webelos:
Earn the Family member and Readyman Activity Pin.

Pack:

The Pack can work on these items and much more.  In a Pack Meetings and other Den Meetings the Scouts can work towards the Emergency Perpardedness award.  Looking at that award there are other requirements that the Scouts and Adult Leaders can work towards.  Overall, it’s not about a Patch or Pin.  It’s about being safe, staying alive and helping others be safe too.

So,  I will be headed to Home Depot to find the best Smoke Alarm and batteries available for the house.  I will also be adding a few others in places that need it.  What I am going to be after are ones that I saw on Holmes on Holmes.  A Battery-Operated Interconnectable Ionization Smoke Alarm.  I like this because if one goes in the laundry or kitchen area, then BAM they all GO!

So, you have been told.  Check and Replace Batteries.  If Smoke Alarms are not functional, Replace them.

About Adam R. Cox

Current Skyloo District Commissioner Current Skyloo District & Council Trainer Current Council Member at Large (Cascade Pacific Council) Former Tiger DL & CM of P221 in Pioneer District Former Skyloo District CS Roundtable Commissioner. Former Ast Council Commissioner for Commissioner Tools and Communication Former Pioneer District Training Chair WE1-492-09 Beaver W1-492-11 Bobwhite TG ASM Logistic W1-492-17-2
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One Response to The Smokey Return Home

  1. Kevin says:

    Wow… quite sobering. I glad to hear that everything is ok. A great reminder on the smoke alarms — I believe I may check in to some additional one’s myself.

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