Five Firemen

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

How many firefighters does it take to change the batteries in three smoke detectors? Five, at least that’s how many showed up when I called and requested assistance with this task, being visually impaired and vertically challenged. Here in the United States, it’s recommended that we change batteries every six months after moving our clocks forward or backward to conform with daylight savings time.

When the five firemen arrived in their big yellow truck, I welcomed them into my home. One or two of them said they remembered me from the last time I’d called them about this. After replacing batteries in my smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, they offered to do a home safety inspection, which I didn’t think was a bad idea.

They asked me if I use a barbecue grill and about my other cooking habits. I told them that I use the microwave, stove, and oven very carefully and that if I were to use a barbecue grill on a regular basis, they would get a lot more calls to this address.

After the five firemen scoured the house and detached garage, they came up with several recommendations, assuring me these were only suggestions and that they wouldn’t check up on me. I can’t help wondering, though, what would happen if I were to have a fire caused by a clogged outside dryer vent, one of the problems they found. Now that’s scary.


Note: the above is my entry for the 2019 Blogger Bash Blog Post Competition. This year’s theme is “five.” If you’re a blogger, there’s still time to enter. Click here for more information.


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Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at:

4 thoughts on “Five Firemen”

  1. This is interesting, Abbie. I did not know you could have the fire department come to change batteries in smoke detectors. I have my handyman do it but it is good to know I could call the fire department that is just 4 doors down from my home. Be sure to get your recommended changes made for safety.
    The little things about maintaining our homes can be so difficult for us to handle when we are blind. It was really considerate of them to go over possible issues for you. Good luck on your “FIVE” submission.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yes, our local fire department has a pprogram for low-income residents where they even provide free smoke detectors. A few years ago, they installed one that has a ten-year battery.

      The main reason I have them change my batteries is so my alarms won’t start beeping every few seconds when the batteries are low. Because I can’t reach most of them, this is a pain in the anatomy, especially when they go off in the middle of the night.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Abbie–Letting some people know of another way to have batteries changed in smoke detectors is certainly a worthwhile post.  Also, bringing to your readership’s attention of the importance of having dryer vents periodically cleaned is very important.

    Take care, and God bless your house–Alice and Willow

    Liked by 2 people

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