Monday, October 22, 2012

Fired Up for Fall

By: Winston Turcotte
From: Live Free or Die by Jessie Crockett

Winston Turcotte here, reminding everyone that autumn is not just a time for leaf peepers and pumpkin carving here in New Hampshire. Cold weather means wood stoves. Is yours ready?

As a seasoned  volunteer firefighter I can tell you just a few minutes preparation in the fall is a heck of a lot better than staring at a cellar hole where your house used to be come January. New Englanders are notoriously thrifty but even we loosen up the purse strings for proper chimney sweeping and annual furnace inspections. So, go schedule those appointments now, and while you're at it, check the batteries in all your smoke detectors. You really ought to do it once a month. You might even consider springing for a carbon monoxide detector. I know my wife Clara was so tickled with the one I bought her for our anniversary last year her eyes teared up and she couldn't think of a thing to say.

And before things get right frosty and you consider dragging in that space heater you've got stashed out in the barn, be sure to run your eyeballs over it with the same sort of attention you'd give your daughter's new boyfriend. Notice any fraying cords or dust-clogged ventilation parts.  If you do decide to lug it into the house, be sure to leave at least three feet of space between it anything else. Poke at it to see how easily it might tip over if a pet or a child gets curious. And if it's a fuel burning heater, be sure you've filled it with the right sort of juice.

If you want to hear an up close and personal account of how improper use of space heaters can go about as wrong as can be, you might want to read Live Free or Die by Jessie Crockett.  If you're interested in fire safety tips consider stopping in at this website:


  1. Thanks for the reminder, Winston. Last summer, I pulled out the grill and was washing off what I though was a spider web but turned out to be the inner fibers of the gas line! Some animal must have gnawed through it last winter. That could have been a major disaster.

    ~ Krista

  2. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. I's a good idea to replace their batteries *before* they make those horrendous noises in the night... To help yourself remember, try replacing them when you change your clocks: spring forward, fall backward, change batteries.

  3. Oh, Winston, you gave you wife a carbon monoxide detector for your anniversary? That's just so wildly romantic I don't know quite what to say. Bless your heart. I'm sure Miss Frankie would be happy to toss around a few ideas with you before your next anniversary -- now that you've used up the best idea and all. Just hearing about your sweet gift took my breath away for a moment.

    1. You're a woman after Winston's own heart. But don't let Clara hear I said that!