Ted’s essays

fire hazard alert

From my mother, I have a sense of smell that is particularly well-suited as a smoke or pre-smoke detector. It alerted me to something amiss in the kitchen. I tracked it to my wife’s plastic tool box and the battery-operated soldering iron within.


The tools and hardware in her well-stuffed box had shifted into a position that depressed the trigger on the soldering iron. The tip was hot enough to melt solder and was busily trying to melt or ignite some plastic that it was touching or nearly touching.

I put the little devil on the counter to cool.

She removed the battery, vowing to
put it away without the battery in it

If you have one of these, I recommend you do the same.