The Russell Fire Department has asked me to help them out by writing an article again this year. As you all know I go into a lot of homes every Christmas and I do see many things that concern me, and the last thing I want to hear about is a fire starting in someoneís home that could have been prevented. Also since they always drive me around Russell and Marionville each Christmas Eve itís the least I can do.
One of the things I see during Christmas is people putting extension chords under rugs to hide them, most of the time the extension chord is for the Christmas tree. This is a really bad idea, people walking on the rug could damage the chord and you would never know it happened, a frayed extension chord is a real fire hazard. Better yet try to limit using extension chords by arranging the decorations so they can be plugged directly into a wall socket. An important thing to remember about extension chords is to always use one that has a grounded plug, you can tell if it has a grounded plug by counting the prongs on the plug; 3 prongs is grounded, 2 prongs isnít.
Mrs. Claus told me that I should also give some gift ideas to everyone, now lets face it, when it comes to giving gifts I think I have a little more experience in this than most people, HO HO HO! First of all, Iím not going to tell you what gifts the kids should get because I already know that, besides there were many of you at the Russell arena after the parade that cleared up a few last minute things I had to take care of. However I do have some good gift ideas for parents and grandparents. What better way to tell someone you love them than by getting them something that will help keep them safe? To me that really tells someone you care. If you have an older parent or grandparent why not check out the smoke alarms in their house, I know a lot of older people havenít changed them in a very long time, and smoke alarms should be changed every ten years. Better yet, maybe even install them. You could do the same with their carbon monoxide detectors as well, they should be changed every seven years. Another good idea would be a new fire extinguisher, however if you do give one as a gift make sure the person knows how to use it. Now I know smoke alarms and fire extinguishers may not be as fun as a new big screen television, but I have never heard of a TV saving anyoneís life in a fire.
I would like to thank the Russell Fire Department for giving me this opportunity, it was really fun. Iíll see you all during the Santa Express on Christmas Eve, riding on the fire truck is almost as fun as my sleigh, Merry Christmas and stay safe!