During Chanukah, we asked readers whether they kept a fire extinguisher nearby when they lit their candles. Fully 80 percent of those who responded said no.
Even allowing for the fact that the survey question was not “scientific” and that the “survey sample” was probably quite small, 80 percent is an amazingly high number and, in this case, a frightening one.
Fire extinguishers are ugly-looking devices, to be sure. They do not fit with most people’s ideas of home dÃ©cor. They make people uncomfortable just to see them around.
They do save lives, however, and that is all that matters.
The recent firebomb attack on Congregation Beth El in Rutherford proves the point (although we would have preferred a different kind of proof). Rabbi Nosson Schuman and his family thankfully avoided serious injury in part because there was a fire extinguisher handy. “The carpet was on fireâ€¦ [but] I was able to get to the fire extinguisher and put it out,” he told The Jewish Standard in an interview.
Could you say the same? Do you even know where the fire extinguishers are in your home?
We urge you all to have fire extinguishers handy throughout your homes, and to make certain that (a) you know how to use the devices and (b) that the devices actually are working properly.