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Journal Cliff's Journal: It's Nice to Be Alive... 6

Because last night, was a really close thing. Two more seconds and it could have easily been worse. Imagine a nice chair in your bedroom, sitting not 2 feet from your bed, engulfed in flames. Had I not acted when I did (and I'll be honest...I probably could have reacted sooner, since the warning signs were all there) that would have been my reality, last night.

I barely escaped it.

It started with a strange ozone smell that always occured when I turned on my space heater. The heater didn't always cause this smell, but I generally only deal with my bedroom when I'm dead tired and it's time to sleep. It's a new house so it needs some duct work since the central A/C only seems to work on the first floor. First quote to get this fixed? $7,000+.

Right. "That can wait for a bit, I think." I may have to change my tune, on that one.

Anyways, this space heater has been a life saver. I can set the central heat to 60 degrees and avoid the $300+ gas bills I've been paying for the last few months. It worked well for about a month.

Then the ozone smell started. I thought it was the heater, it was really the surge protector. Melting. Slowly.

I thought these things were supposed to have a fuse that burned out when they drew too much current. Looks like APC surge protectors don't.

So first it was the ozone smell. Then...right when I'm trying to doze off to sleep, I hear "*snap* *crackle* *sizzle*". I thought it was some paper on the floor under my bed that was making the noise, it was that soft. Then I open my eyes. See the flashing in the corner of my room.

And the rest happens in flashes.

I jump up. The flashing gets worse. I move my nice chair covered in plenty of flammable materials (cotton sheets, apholstery, etc). The surge protector catches fire. I realize I have hardwood floors. Then I start unplugging stuff to try and save what I can.

I'm able to save just about everything but the space heater. That plug is just not safe.

Of course, I can't sleep. I still haven't slept. I've dozed fitfully with that heater in my normally chilly room for months now. This could have happened at any time while I was completly comatose and I would have been quite dead.

I'm not. I'm very fortunate.

I'm also very, very tired.

[I'm generally not one to write about myself, but I figure last night was interesting enough that I'd share. There are quite a few lessons I've learned from this.

1) Never trust high current devices to a surge protector, no matter how good it is.

2) Invest in smoke alarms with good coverage of your home. To be honest, the one in my room wouldn't have saved me from a fire, but it might have kept me alive if I had been sleeping.

3) Sometimes insomnia has its advantages

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It's Nice to Be Alive...

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BLISS is ignorance.