We all like to buy gifts that are useful – but how about a gift that could save a life?
I saw such a gift, years ago, under the Christmas tree of some university roommates. It was a smoke alarm from my friend’s grandmother – unwrapped, still in its box, amidst other gifts that might seem more exciting at first glance.
This humble gift came with batteries installed – and that’s a major blessing because, after a night of festivity, the housemates went to bed without realizing a space heater had been left on right beside a couch occupied by an out-of-town guest. A blanket fell onto the heater and began to smoulder, setting off the new smoke alarm, which awoke the roommates in time – potentially saving their lives.
Unfortunately my friend never told his grandmother the value of her gift, even though I tried to convince him to. Grandma was pretty strict and would have given him heck for not being more careful, so I can see why he kept the news quiet. It’s too late to tell her now, since she is no longer alive, so all I can do is spread the word at gift-buying time.
Please keep this story in mind when you choose your gifts this year. Consider fire extinguishers, first aid kits, disaster supply kits, carbon monoxide detectors, safety goggles, high-visibility vests, bicycle lights, flares, protective gloves, and earplugs, just to name a few.
While they may not rank high in the excitement factor – compared to all the electronics and flashiness – safety-related gifts can do much more than provide entertainment.