Changing the batteries in the smoke detectors is a quasi-equinoctial (yes, that’s a word) ritual associated with the resetting of the clocks to and from summer time. But did you remember to do it this month?
This afternoon, I spent a couple of hours taking pictures in the apartment of a friend who was the victim of an electrical fire a couple of days ago. It all started with ancient wiring in the wall above the stove, and quickly spread back to the bathroom and up to the floor above.
My friend wasn’t there at the time, and he is meticulous about turning off all electrical appliances when he leaves –OK, he’s a penny-pinching maniac– which may well have helped minimize the initial fire, but by the time the fire department was done with it, after breaking in from the neighbor’s because of the door and window gates on this ground-floor apartment, half of it was a burnt-out shell, and the other half a soggy, grimy mess. And his cat was dead. And Howdy Doody was singed and covered in soot.
So, do have another look at your detectors. And make sure no extension cords or wall outlets are warm. A couple of fire extinguishers is not a bad idea, too.