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Too many smoke detectors?


Beverly Wittler Columnist

  I bet that’s what the helpful firemen thought when I handed them my box of batteries and plastic alarms. And if they had known the three were for a 1200 square foot ranch, they would have maybe shaken their heads. But then they noticed one was a carbon monoxide alarm. It lives in the hall across from our washer, dryer and hot water heater room. My Dad would have been overjoyed if we’d had those back in the late forties and fifties because by the time he and his crew got most of the fires doused, they learned there was a deceased homeowner inside. They’d all taken a strict firefighting course and knew when it was okay to enter a flaming building and when it was out of the question for the hose wielders, too dangerous in other words.

  Don’t know why I bought a carbon monoxide alarm but it does make me feel safer, especially when any of the grandkids sleep over. As I watched the recent near-disaster in DeKalb county on TV, and prayed silently of course, I wondered why they hadn’t installed them in their school building. I hope, after today, that all boards of education will deem that a must-have for every learning facility.

  Now I took my box of smoke detectors along with the replacement batteries to the closest fire department because for some reason I couldn’t get the backs off to change out all the 9 Volts and AAs when the government changed our time, again. My twin sons were going to change them for me at our Thanksgiving meal, which we always have the Saturday before turkey day. (We used to have it the Saturday after, but two Georgia fans and one Tech fan … well it just didn’t work). But as I sliced my potatoes, made my cranberry sauce/Jell-O salad I decided I’d give it another try. Actually got the back off the carbon monoxide detector, but then couldn’t get one of the batteries to come all the way out or go back in … and the beeping began. Decided I’d get some of my heroes to change them instead of listening to it beep all morning.

  Both gentlemen were very helpful, cordial and had the old batteries out and the new ones in without breaking a sweat…or causing any undue beeping. I thanked them, profusely, offered to buy them a little lunch but they refused, said that’s why they’re there…to help others.   Came home, hung the detectors back where they belonged (I’d marked them so I’d get it right) and felt more at ease immediately.

  Next thing Bev can’t do? The form came from the county showing the Toyota Camry was now listed as my vehicle so I took my tag and went out to the driveway. What the heck? The screws in the back of the trunk looked totally different than Max’s. I tried a couple of screw drivers, scratched my head and gave up. What to do, what to do. Oh, I know, I’ll just make a run down 81 East, bet someone at Castrol Lube can figure it out.

  They did, had my tag in place almost immediately. But I did observe, and will check my small tool box to see if I’ve got that strange apparatus. Bet my Dad didn’t have one in the big red Craftsman tool box he kept on the back of ABW’s wrecker. I still remember thinking as a little girl that if I didn’t grow up to be a preacher or a lawyer, maybe I’d just become a mechanic. I know better now. Thanks Castrol and our fine firefighters for all you do!


  Beverly Wittler has four children, eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. She lives in McDonough with her husband.




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