Friday, August 8, 2014

Why I Moved My Smoke Detector

      Last week my friend, Dee, fell and broke ribs , a vertebrae and had some spinal damage. It was a shock to say the least.

     Dee has lived in her house since 1965. She was about 26 when she moved into her house. Over the years you get comfortable with your house. You know your house. There are things the house tells you and you get to know ever part of it and how to use it. You tend to do the things you always did as a young person.  You forget that you get older.

    Dee was having a birthday party for a grand daughter and they were putting balloons up on the lights. The sturdy old oak pedestal table was used to climb up to the lights, just like it had always been used. This time it over balanced and Dee was pitched over the open stairway and fell to the bottom. She's lucky to be alive.

    It made me stop and think about risky situations and places in my house. I'm historically a risk taker. It was time to take a sober look at things.

    The first thing that came to my mind was a smoke detector at the top of my stairs. The smoke detector had been placed so that it was above the second step down. So as you changed a smoke detector battery, not only were you on a step ladder at the top of the stairs, you had to lean out over the stair well. That's the point at which I said ,"This risk has to be eliminated." 

The two screw holes show how far I moved the smoke detector so that it wasn't over the stairs.

Look way up and see the tiny little smoke detector

    So I learned something out of Dee's tragedy.

    I hope others will look around and change risky situations or behaviors.

40 comments:

  1. Oh dear! I sure hope she heals up!
    We have a detector at the top of the stairs too!
    I took the one down by the stove! It was always going off! Ha!
    Cheri

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    1. It's funny how the little things get us.

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  2. That's a good idea, Red, have something good come out of such a mishap. I hope she will recover all right.

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    1. They say she will never walk again. I hope they're wrong.

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  3. Oh my I hope she recovers. Falls are nasty, I have a friend who fell last summer and lost her leg...bad deal for the elderly to get hurt. Good for you moving that smoke detector! I have one light that cannot be changed without a ladder from the landing or leaning over the railing....guess I will go with the ladder from the landing from no on! Everyone should walk around their houses looking for hazards:)

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    1. Hazards seem to have a way of being missed.

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  4. This is a very good warning and eye opener for us "old folks".

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    1. Yes , things sneak up on us and we don't notice. One of them is old age!

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  5. My Mum always said something good always comes out of tragedy and I do hope your friend heals well. I think about something I could make easier round bout tha house and I also have moved my smoke detectors farther along the hallway, away from the stairs. Thanks for the tip Red and best wishes to your friend Dee for a speedy recovery.

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    1. Yes, watch the banana peels and rugs!

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  6. After my latest fall, I am aware of steps and pavement and move a bit more careful than before, Eldery people often fall and I am now one I realized when I was lying on the street.

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    1. Falls for us oldies are nasty. I tumbled down my stairs last December.

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  7. Funny you should mention this - We were changing smoke alarm batteries the other day and realized that one is very hard to manage. Even my 6'2" husband found it hard to reach that high for long enough to pry out the battery. So we bought a new one that would unscrew and allow the battery to be changed without teetering on a chair.

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    1. Good plan. Our balance isn't as good as it used to be.

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  8. More accidents happen in the home... I hope your friend recovers quickly!

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    1. The house is a dangerous place.

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  9. oh, bless your friend! i am sorry for her pain! may she heal well!

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  10. Glad that that you moved it! Hope your friend heals fast.

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    1. I think there are a few more things that I should have a look at.

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  11. Oh, that is so frightening. Hope she will be fine. Glad you moved the smoke alarm.

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    1. It was a shock to find out that she fell.

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  12. I have a light lie that and put one lower

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  13. That is awful and scary , I hope she mends well with not too many complications that she has to live with from this day. Happy to see you move yours . Great Idea. I thought of mine and they are each to reach. I have one on the stairs out of step so it fine there. and a few I have to think about down the road if Im still in the house Im in. Red Thanks for your visits. I have your feed on feedly so I wont miss your updates. Still working out things on my new blog and seems that summer is taking all my energy with my yard , kids and garden. But Im happy and so healthy. Thanks again for stopping. You really add to my day.

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    1. It sounds like you have more than enough to keep you busy. that's what makes life interesting.

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  14. Our townhouse has lots of stairs and they can be dangerous. We didn't want a place with stairs but there were so many other features about our home we liked that we compromised, but as we get older the stairs do become more of a problem.

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    1. But right now stairs are great exercise.

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  15. That's pretty scary. I hope she has a complete recovery - and I'm very glad you moved your smoke alarm!

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  16. Oh, that is awful! I'm sorry to hear that about your friend. I hope she heals quickly. And smart move on your part to move your smoke detector. Her fall was indeed a wake up call!

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    1. It's sad that something has to happen to wake us up.

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  17. You know, we do much research in the area of preventing falls, but we ignore much of it, as well. Sometimes it just takes common sense. I remember seeing a guy using a leaf blower on his roof. He must have been in his 60s, but what a dumb thing to do! We do have to modify our activities. You are a clever man!

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    1. Well, I hate to disappoint you , but I still get up on my low slope roof!

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  18. This lady I know well. She also fell off the chair to turn off alarm but you know you can have them at your reach this having them so high is a old fashion rule. My friend has it now at hands reach. She had burned her hamburger so the alarm was going off. Plus she had fallen asleep. I mean when you cook for goodness sakes stay with it. Not go sit in living room and fall asleep. Your 80 years old your not 20. Most people that age do fall asleep at snap of a finger as most don't get night sleeps like when they were 20. So the body is tired but 80 old year people wont own up too it. . Anyhow instead of taking pan off stove. What does she do. Get up on the chair and try to turn alarm off stretching and bang boom.Been better she just took frying pan off the burner but see how the mind thinks at 80.

    Also avoid scattered rugs. My sister in-law fell over her scattered rug and had put her groceries on the floor and she fell over both. Ended up with a broken leg. Seven weeks of therapy. Own up you may look young but your body is old inside. Your an old grey gal or mare. Face it.
    Dee can survive her tragedy but it will be a hard process. If she can do her therapy exercises daily after at home and my sister in-law has at 90 done it. It is hard core.

    She can also. To turn off your alarm is bad. If you ever fall know one would find you.

    Stephen is right. Stairs are so dangerous. I had to move out of my place and now no stairs. As I have a sciatic and I could not do the stairs. So you have to think safety first and be wise. When you age. You never know what to-morrow brings. Thanks for your story Red about your friend. I sure hope people have taken a lesson from this . Sounds like you have not look at the rug situation. I worked many years ago for the elderly. That was one of my jobs. Safety. Had to tell family safety prevention's for their loved ones. Also if they have stairs. Don't pile papers and junk under the stairs. Causes fires most times.

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  19. I wish my mom-in-law (almost 85) would take a page from your safety book and agree to get a grip rail in her bath enclosure!!!

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  20. I don't have any scatter rugs. There seem to be other things to trip over. Part of it is the deterioration of our vision.

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  21. Oh my.. how shocking. What a tragic event for your friend. I hope she will be alright but it sounds like she has sustained some pretty nasty injuries. How wise of you to take heed and make changes, Red. And for sharing this in order to plant the idea in our heads. Thank you.

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  22. Good grief! This is just the scariest thing to read. I hope Dee is healing without too much pain. I'm so glad you've changed where your smoke detector is. We've put up an extra banister on our stairs and grab bars in the bathroom. I've had my share of accidents. Be careful, please!

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  23. Oh goodness, that sounds like a horrid fall. I'm glad she wasn't more seriously injured. It's a good idea to start checking now for hazards.

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