It’s sometimes amazing where ideas for this column come from, this past Sunday afternoon while standing in line at our local hardware store, I noticed a lady buying three new smoke alarms. Considering that we are constantly reminding people to make sure they have sufficient coverage with regards to smoke alarms, and that they should be replaced after ten years, I felt it was appropriate to commend her for this purchase - especially since I was wearing a fire department tee-shirt. I told her that I was a Russell firefighter and that it was nice to see someone replacing their smoke alarms, she then told me that the alarms were not for her, they were for her daughter. It turned out that her daughter just recently moved into a new home in Barrhaven, and that she would sleep better knowing they were properly protected. Once again I remarked that this was a very thoughtful gift and a great idea since you never know how old existing smoke alarms are when you move into a new home. Upon leaving the store and having this short conversation I thought this would make for a great topic – why not give fire safety items to someone as a house warming gift. Lets face it, when you move into a new home you have a thousand things to do, even after the first year of living in the home it often seems that you have barely gotten around to most of the items on your “to do” list. Things such as; replacing smoke alarms, installing CO detectors and installing a fire extinguisher are commonly forgotten. These are items that we hopefully never use, so our priorities often turn towards the items that affect our daily routines. Unfortunately once these items get pushed back, they often have a hard time getting back to the front of the line. During our yearly door to door inspections we often find smoke alarms that are well over twenty years old in homes, most of the time the owner has no idea how old they are. The comment we most hear is “we have been meaning to replace that, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet”. This is usually accompanied by embarrassment and a look of guilt, as they know what should be done, it’s just that a busy life got in the way of doing what was right. If you have a friend or relative who is moving into a new home, why not buy them these items as a house warming gift, better yet offer to install them on the day they move in. What better way to show someone you care, than by saying I want you to be safe.