Lately, a lot of people has laughed at me because I purchase a bundle of fire prevention devices. I bought a smoke alarm detector, a small fire extinguisher and three anti-smoke masks (one for baby).
A lot of people asked: "Why on earth would you do that?"
The reason is simple:
It's a device that detects the presence of Carbon Monoxide (or CO) in the air. CO is odorless and from what I was told, it is deadly because unlike Oxygen, once it attaches to the red cells of your blood, it won't go away from it in your lungs where it's suppose to. Afterward, it slowly lead to death by suffocation, your entire body is lacking of Oxygen and you die. It's a very very effective way to suicide and it is a commonly used in HK. Also, it will beep very loudly so that it wakes us up when we are asleep. When a fire starts during the night, it is more deadly because people hardly wake up because of bad smell, you can ask somebody to put some poo in front of your face during the night, you should not notice it until you wake up :). From archives, we can see people that have been wake up because of pain, the fire started to burn their face. People asleep did not smelled that their house was burning, but they felt the pain of being burned at their face.
So, I give it a thought and bought one. It was quite cheap only 300HKD (30EUR or 30USD, I am too lazy to look for the correct exchange rate). It can just be placed anywhere in a room on a shelf for example (CO is lighter than air, so it goes up).
For the fire extinguisher, it's easy to understand, we took one that can be used on any type of fire, a powder one. Notice, never use a water fire extinguisher on electric component, or a CO2 fire extinguisher in a closed area... so, powder is the best when you want to cover everything. It's small, quite cheap (400 HKD) and can save your home.
Lastly, the anti-smoke masks... :) This are the one that have my friends make fun of me. A lot of people die from suffocation during a fire, these are to give you a 20 min gap to go through corridors engulf by smoke and try to exit from your place. It filters the air for 20 minutes and cleans it from bad elements like CO. When faced with a fire, it is sometimes better to leave the place than staying in there and calling for help at a window with fire behind... Ok, some may argue that I could burn in the staircase, but hey... At least I would have tried to escape and won't be afraid of inhaling too much CO.Last thing, it is small, folded and portable. When folded, it takes similar size as a A5 100 pages notebook, so, keeping three of them is not a big deal.
The fire extinguisher is replaceable every five years if I don't use it, same for the masks if only they have been used.
So, to me, it's a one time cost and very cheap life insurance.
I pray that you will think about it and get yourself prepared :) you never know when fire strikes!