I am getting paranoid. Been so since last week when I attended a talk on fire safety.
I never given this subject much thought until this talk. Firstly, look at the statistics. There were 2799 fire in Singapore between January to June this year. Of these, 401 were household fire which made it an average of 2 household fire per day. I am totally surprised. And I thought that staying in apartments is safer but this is apparently not so.
Also, I thought like many others that in the event of a electrical overload, the safety circuit breaker will trip and cut off power supply thus preventing a fire. Boy am I wrong! Just look at this video of the burning Christmas tree. Apart from the speed in which the fire spread, look at the light on the right. It continued to light up until the fire reached it!
So I did an audit of the various hazardous areas around the house.
First, the TV wall. There is only 1 wall socket. From there, I have one extension wire which have another extension wire. Altogether, from 1 wall socket, it branched out to 6 outlets powering 7 devices; the tv, an amplifier (yeah I am that old school), a DVD, a cable set-top, a Xbox, a fan and 1 spare for charging batteries. Okay at least nowadays the Xbox is gathering dust and not plug in.
Another area is the opposite wall where 1 wall socket leads to an extension wire with 5 outlets juicing up the Princess’s computer, monitor and printer and the wireless telephone with 1 spare outlet. But here most of the power points are switched off at night.
More terrible is the other wall where I have 2 fish tanks. There 1 wall socket branched out to a 3 ways which branched out to 2 separate wires making a total of 9. These power 2 lights for the fish tanks and 3 filters and 2 air pumps. Except for the lights, the rest runs continuously and is never switched off.
But even more scary than all these is the fact that in the past months, there have been 3 instances when somebody in the house forgot to turn off the gas stove. Once it got so bad that it caught the attention of an opposite neighbour who had to rush over.
I have fire insurance for the house but what is the point of insurance if there are casualties? Money can never replace life. Okay did the minimum that can be done for the time being. Went out and bought 3 fire extinguishers and a smoke detector. And a note to everybody to check and make sure all unused appliances are switched off at the mains rather than just leave on standby mode. Hopefully that will be enough.