Perfect! That's exactly the type of thing I was looking for -- permanently
installed, enough light to provide some safety during unexpected times
(example, smoke). I wasn't looking for anything to get me out of the house
during an ordinary power outage, such as what we had last night. My concern
is with a *real* emergency, and I think your reference site will work very
Thanks very much.
I keep a flashlight in the cabinet above the stove, because there was
empty space there, and another in the basement on the workbench
because I often need one when I'm fixing something. Also in the car,
not to wave down help but to actually fix the car with or to look at
something off-road on occasion, like if I find an abandoned house,
even in the daytime. I would think adding one to the 2nd floor would
make a complete set.
I haven't seen for a long time what I think you mean by little cheap
emergency lights. I think you should check more closely the webpages
for commercial emergency lights, required by law in public places.
They don't all say exit and thus those are smaller. But I think all
good ones may have lead acid baterries and need to be plugged in or
hard wired. Hard wiring those on the ceiling of the 2nd floor should
be easy if one has an unfinished attic, and a little more work with a
OTOH there may be LED emergency lights by now. Don't expect these
things to be on the home page of these companies. Their major products
will be there, and LED lights probably don't meet building codes yet.
For their own safety yes, but not for brighness.
OTOH, I think you're worrying too much. Unless you live in a colossal
house, you and your family will be able to find their way out. By
feeling the wall if there is no smoke and by crawling on hands and
knees if there is. Any kid 6 or older is probably better than you at
this, but if anyone needs rescuing and there are no flames keeping you
back, I think you will have time to get him. If there are flames,
you'll have the light of the flames.
If there is no fire, just a power failure and darkness, I don't see a
big problem. Why is there any rush to get out of the house at all? I
just go back to sleep.
Spend your time fire-proofing your house. Find out more about how
fires start and eliminate those causes. That will give you more
safety and more house too. Buy a bottle of PSSST, or PFFFFT, which I
think is just a plastic reuseable ketchup bottle filled with baking
soda, for the kitchen, and buy bigger fire extinguisher or two also.
The cheapest one that has the pressure gauge seems to show adquate
pressure for about 10 years, before going low, It's uneconomical to
recharge this cheap one.
Talk about crawling on the floor to avoid smoke, and using a wet towel
to filter out smoke. Tell them it's ok to touch the walls in an
emergency like this would be.
Have an designated place to meet outside so you'll know if everyone is
out, and you won't want to go back in again. Explain everything
including the reasons for them even to the littlest kids. Kids are
smarter than adults think and the reason for a designated place for
example will make it easier to remember to go to the designated place.
Maybe somewhere on the sidewalk in front of the house,
On Mon, 5 Jun 2006 01:15:29 -0500, "MaryL"
Practice walking around the house in the dark. My wife cannot move two feet
without a light, my son and I walk back and forth at night without a single
light, it is not hard if you are really aware of space and location of
everything. Other than that make a point of a flashlight in each room, the
small LED type are probably best, don't take up much room and can last quite
a while on a battery.
I used to have the same problem... walking around in a near panic
situation in a pitch-black room and forgeting where all the
flashlights are kept.
My solution was about as cheap and low tech as you can get, but it
Walmart sells a plug in, full size, rechargeable flashlight that comes
on automatically during power failures and has a red led to indicate
charging during normal times. It is actually shaped like a
I bought several and never had to worry about the problem again.
I had one of these several years ago, but this was one of the devices that
malfunctioned after a short time. I suspect the technology is better now,
and I'm going to get a variety of plug-ins plus a couple of the permanent
installations that a couple of messages mentioned. (No, I'm not paranoid,
but I am very safety-conscious, and I realize that a person -- even someone
who usually can maneuver easily in the darkness -- could easily become
panicky and disoriented in a crisis, such as a fire.)
Yes, you are paranoid.
You seem to think that you have to find a front door in an emergency.
Unless you have a true mansion, any single family residence will be two
story at most and that means a whopping 10' drop out an upper story
window at worst.
If you have enough strength to support your own weight when you hang out
the window by your arms your feet are like 4' off the ground, hardly a
Perhaps consider an "escape ladder" which is a bit more practical than
lighting a route that keeps you in a danger zone longer.
Well, as any firefighter will tell you. It may be easy enough to find
the egress in times of low stress...
But if your bedroom is full of smoke and your window needs to be
broken and you're operating in the dark, and your in panic mode
because your house is burning down, and you have trouble climbing
ladders because of your age.... it's not all that easy.
What single family residence had windows, especially in a bedroom that
need to be broken to use for egress? I guess we must have given up on
building codes while I wasn't looking.
If you're too old to climb ladders you're probably too old to climb
stairs as well so you should be in a first floor bedroom.
As for panic mode, the solution there is simple - regular practice and
drills so you're not running around like a headless chicken and instead
are calm and follow the established plan.
Have you ever hung from a second floor window and dropped? How did you
do? I'm one of the people who's job it is to find and remove the folks
who couldn't make it out on their own. Nothing is as easy or simple as
you seem to think when you are woken out of a sound sleep at 0Dark30 in
the blessed AM by the sound of a smoke detector and your coughing as
soon as you sit up because there is already smoke in the house. I have
found perfectly competent able bodied adults unconscious in there own
front hall with their hand prints in the soot on the walls because they
were suffering from carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide poisoning
produced by a smoldering fire and could not find the door knob.
It is not unreasonable to want some sort of automatic light if you
already know that you would have a hard time finding your way through
your home in the dark. The less expensive units that others have
already pointed out are a good choice especially in homes with children.
The version I would recommend is more expensive because it is designed
to work as a portable flood light after it is removed from its charging
rack and it's battery will last until dawn the next day. That would be
the streamlite litebox in the eight watt flood light lamp version. You
can check those out at
<http://www.streamlight.com/litebox_specifications.htm They are the
third item down the page. There is a dealer locater link there to find
someone who sells them in your area.
The only caution I would offer is to cover the basics first. Have both
photoelectric and ionization smoke detectors on every level of your home
and outside every group of bedrooms in your home. If you can afford it
have the hard wired interconnected ones installed that also have a
battery back up. If you can afford more then consider a complete
automatic home fire alarm system. Such systems can be equipped with
carbon monoxide, natural gas, and even refrigeration failure and
flooding detectors. If you are having a home built for you then have an
automatic sprinkler system installed. That option will cost you less,
when installed during the construction of a new home, then a good grade
of wall to wall carpeting.
Under the deregulation mantra the nations public utilities are becoming
more brittle. To maintain profitability the staffing of repair crews
have been cut to dangerous levels. We can expect more outages and
failures as these utilities management passes from engineers who
understood their product and customers to MBAs that understand only the
Andrew Carnegie formula of "Take care of cost and profit takes care of
Master Firefighter / Rescuer Thomas D. Horne speaking only for himself
In addition to what Beachcomber wrote, please tell us what we should do
about children and other people in the house in the event of a fire...just
ignore them so we can jump out the nearest window???
Teach them to use the escape ladder? Have regular fire drills? Teach
them to be calm and follow a plan in an emergency? Or perhaps just let
them follow your example of running around like a headless chicken?
You make some good points, but you seem to get pleasure out of trying to
make an honest question look ridiculous. Yes, we should all have practice
fire drills and have an emergency plan. But there is *nothing wrong* with
my attempt to upgrade emergency preparedness. Every year, there are
numerous preventable deaths, and your suggestions should be *part* of
preparation but so is my desire for a simple lighting system. Do you really
think you can teach an infant to remain calm and "follow a plan"? In my
case, I was my mother's caregiver for 5 years. She had substantial
short-term memory loss and could only walk with assistance. She would have
been completely helpless under your "plan."
It is rather ridiculous, at least to the extent you're pushing it.
People have lived just fine for thousands of years without automatic
emergency lights in every room. Having a flashlight in every single room
is just as extreme and obsesive-compulsive as having a tub of
disinfectant wipes in every room because germs are everywhere.
Unless you also have your windows boarded up to keep out the burglars
nearly any night has sufficient light to find your way around if you
just pause a minute to let your eyes adjust. Certainly a single
inexpensive automatic emergency light in the hallway on each floor will
provide plenty of light to find your way.
You don't need a big, ugly, expensive commercial grade emergency light,
the cheap ones you find at the big box stores are quite adequate, they
don't last forever, but neither do the commercial units. In a commercial
application there is a maintenance person who regularly tests the
emergency lights and replaces failing batteries. In a residential
environment you should test your emergency lights at the same time you
test your smoke and CO detectors and replace as needed.
And a simple lighting system need not be more elaborate than a $20
rechargeable flashlight that automatically turns on in a power failure.
If it lasts a couple years before the batteries fail you're still ahead
of a $100 commercial unit that will have a battery life of perhaps 6 or
7 years at best.
Absolutely as they aren't old enough to know there is a danger to begin
And under yours as well as emergency lighting wouldn't make any
difference to her. Someone who requires assistance to move requires
additional planning and procedures. In your case this person should be
in a first floor room and instructed to remain there in the event of an
emergency so you don't need to go searching for them. The responsible
party(ies) need to go and get this person in the event of an emergency
and that could well mean getting out first and then accessing the room
with the person needing assistance from a window.
You have misquoted or misinterpreted. I *do not* want an emergency light in
every room. I want one or two to light the hallways.
Not the same thing at all. Flashlights should be readily accessible for
emergencies. I cannot conceive of an "emergency" where I would need to
quickly grab disinfectant wipes in every room.
Your point is usually valid. I have lived in this house for 10 years and
was always able to find my way in the dark. (For example, I certainly do
not need to turn on the lights to get to the bathroom at night.) However,
this latest incident was a real eye-opener, no pun intended. The house was
*pitch black,* and oddly there was absolutely no light from outdoors that
evening. So, I was left with no visibility at all. I was *not* frightened
because this was simply a power outage. However, it did make me realize
that in a true emergency where speed might be needed, it would be prudent to
have a good emergency light. I am *not* trying to set up any type of
commercial setting (as I explained in my message), but it would be a good
idea to have additional lighting.
What's your problem? Additional safety is not a problem; a person who might
completely ignore saftey would be a better target for your contempt.
No, the lighting would not have made any difference to my mother. However,
it would have made a *huge* difference to me in helping her escape. You say
the responsible partiy (me) needs to go and get this person in the event of
an emergency. That's my whole point! I would want to do that as quickly
and as safely as possible -- and in the event of a fire, *minutes* are
This will be my last response to you. I did not ask for an essay on why I
should *not* get lighting; I simply asked for some suggestions *for*
lighting (which several other respondents helped with in simple and
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