Don’t for­get those bat­ter­ies when ‘fall­ing back’ to­mor­row

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - Features/community - Jean Phillips

DEAR ABBY: As a fire of­fi­cer, I have seen far too many fam­i­lies fall vic­tim to ac­ci­den­tal home fires.

It is dev­as­tat­ing to find out that a life could have been saved if some­one had only taken that sim­ple step of re­plac­ing a dead bat­tery in a smoke alarm.

Nearly 96 per cent of Amer­i­can homes have at least one smoke alarm. But did you know that 19 per cent of Amer­i­can homes lack a work­ing smoke alarm be­cause the bat­ter­ies are miss­ing or dead?

For 22 years, the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Fire Chiefs and En­er­gizer have been com­mit­ted to chang­ing this statis­tic through the “Change Your Clock Change Your Bat­tery” cam­paign. This part­ner­ship en­cour­ages fam­i­lies to change the bat­tery in their smoke alarms when they set their clocks back an hour on Nov. 1.

This mes­sage also serves as a re­minder to com­mu­ni­ties na­tion­wide to change the bat­ter­ies in their car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tors.

As win­ter ap­proaches, more peo­ple will be­gin us­ing gas ap­pli­ances to heat their homes and may find them­selves at risk of car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing, called the “si­lent killer” be­cause this gas is colour­less, odour­less and taste­less.

Thank you, Abby, for help­ing us spread this life­sav­ing mes­sage to your read­ers. — JEF­FREY D. JOHN­SON, PRES­I­DENT, IN­TER­NA­TIONAL AS­SO­CI­A­TION OF FIRE CHIEFS

DEAR JEFF: I’m glad to help, and I know my read­ers are grate­ful for your timely re­minder. It may seem like a me­nial task, but safe­guard­ing your­selves and your fam­i­lies is ex­tremely im­por­tant — so change those bat­ter­ies this week­end! DEAR ABBY: For the last two years I have been go­ing out with a guy I’ll call “Ricky.” My prob­lem is I don't love him any­more.

A few weeks ago I told him I no longer wanted to be with him, and he started cry­ing. He scared me when he said his life was in my hands.

Abby, I want to end it. Ricky suf­fo­cates me. He’s de­pressed be­cause his mom works and doesn’t have time for him. His dad doesn’t live with them, so Ricky feels he has only me to talk to. He wants to marry me, and I don't want to lie and say I will.

It dis­turbs me that he still wants to be to­gether even though he knows I’m not happy with him. He be­lieves that if he’s happy, I will be, too. Please tell me what do. — TROU­BLE IN SALI­NAS, CALIF.

DEAR TROU­BLED: I’m sure the news that you wanted to break up was painful for Ricky to hear — hence the tears — but say­ing his life is in your hands was a form of emo­tional black­mail. For your sake, please don't fall for it.

Ricky ap­pears to be needy and im­ma­ture. Call his mother, tell her that you are end­ing the re­la­tion­ship and that he isn’t tak­ing it well. She’s in a bet­ter posi- tion to see he gets emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal sup­port than you are. DEAR ABBY: My best friend, “Heather,” is try­ing to trick her hus­band into hav­ing an­other child. They al­ready have one, but he doesn’t think they can han­dle two.

They have been fight­ing about this, and it has cre­ated prob­lems in their mar­riage. Heather con­fided to me re­cently that she is go­ing to stop us­ing birth con­trol “just to see what will hap­pen,” and I’m pretty sure she’s not go­ing to tell her hus­band first.

I wish I didn’t know. But now that I do, I’m not sure where my re­spon­si­bil­i­ties lie. Should I tell him, or keep my mouth shut and act sur­prised when Heather gets preg­nant? — KNOWS TOO MUCH IN BETHESDA

DEAR KNOWS TOO MUCH: This is your best friend. You should tell Heather that she’s mak­ing a se­ri­ous mis­take. What she is do­ing is dis­hon­est, un­der­handed and could be the fi­nal straw that breaks her mar­riage apart.

And yes, you should tip him off. If it isn’t al­ready too late, he may want to take pre­cau­tions.

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