Our house caught on fire yesterday.
Now don't worry. The damage was minor and everyone is okay. It was one of those freak accidents that couldn't happen, but somehow does.
The chickens have outgrown the fish tank they were living in, so my husband rigged up a new enclosure for them using parts from some of our dog crates. Somehow, the heat lamp on top of the cage got knocked onto the carpet, heat side down. Apparently, the carpet smoldered for some time before finally catching on fire. I had already left the house when the smoke alarm in my son's room went off. Fortunately, my husband was home. When he got to the room, it was completely full of smoke and flames were shooting up off the carpet. He got the chickens out (they were understandably frantic) and put out the flames. [Our next door neighbors, alerted by the smoke alarm, also came running. You've gotta love good neighbors.]
There are two reasons I'm telling you this. The first is that the smoke alarm in the hallway outside the room did not go off. It is working and hardwired into the house, but the smoke had not traveled far enough to set it off. It is only because we also have battery-operated smoke detectors in every bedroom that my husband was alerted to the fire before it engulfed the entire room. This is an important lesson that I want to share with everyone: just because you have a smoke detector in your house, do not assume it will save your house or your family in the event of a fire! Put a smoke detector in every room, especially the bedrooms. The faster you are alerted to the fire, the better chance you will have of putting it out or escaping the fire. I cannot emphasize this enough. If we hadn't had a smoke detector in the bedroom, I have no doubt we would have had a much more serious situation on our hands. Please, if you don't have a smoke detector, or don't have enough, take care of the situation asap. The battery powered ones are inexpensive and easy to install. Put one in every bedroom, every hall, and your garage. [As a side note, none of the dogs alerted us to the smoke. Sophie and Sam didn't wake up, and Heidi ran outside without telling anyone. Great survival instincts, that one, but she's not exactly Lassie.]
The second reason I'm sharing is this: the very first thing my husband thought to do after putting out the flames was to stuff a bath towel into the crack under the door of my knitting room to protect the yarn from the smoke! Dude. There must be some sort of medal for that!