“That Story Lady”

Angela Scott, Author – Storyteller – Ventriloquist

Expired Smoke Detector Teaches an Important Lesson About Life

January 16, 2010

“The wiring is probably defective because the smoke detector in our home office had not functioned properly in several months,” I thought. After replacing the nine-volt battery, it still did not work. My daughter and I went to a home improvement store to purchase a water filter for our refrigerator. We were welcomed and sales associates asked if they could help us. Silently, I reviewed my to-do checklist for that day, which included a water filter and a smoke detector.

Shelves were lined with the home safety devices made by different companies with different styles. I knew the devices in our home were wired to electricity rather than battery operated. All the boxes looked the same until one of the sales associates explained the differences and similarities.

“One of my friends told me that detectors need to be replaced every six or seven years. But, that only applies to the battery operated ones, right?” I asked but quickly learned that answer was defective.

We replaced the nine-volt batteries twice each year since we moved in our new home, but we had never installed new safety devices. Embarrassed at my lack of knowledge for fire safety in our home, I took immediate action and began checking the styles and prices. After arriving home, I began my internet research in addition to talking with one of our neighbors who is a fireman.

“Nine years? You are on borrowed time,” he said. I gasped after realizing the price was a minimal investment in comparison with the precious life of my family.

Pricing the home safety devices on the internet and at two local home improvement stores, I purchased a package of six detectors and nine-volt batteries. My neighbor, the fireman, offered to install them for us. After he installed them, we thanked him for his time and knowledge. He smiled and said, “You are just making our job easier. We wish other folks would be willing to maintain basic home safety procedures like you are doing.”

My family and I are fortunate we learned, before an emergency, that there is no difference in smoke detectors, whether battery-operated or electrically wired.

Learn from my mistake and check the issue date of your smoke detectors if you have not already done so.

A verse in the Bible states, “Night comes when no man can work…” So, do what you can everyday, while you can.



All writings here are copyrighted by Angela Scott. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

Add A Comment