How the Grinch Didn’t Steal Christmas

We are pleased to introduce the holiday story from our colleague in Washington State, Kathleen Clary-Cooke, coordinator of Safe Kids Benton-Franklin which discusses the importance of fire safety. This is a happy ending story.

The family was huddled around a wood burning stove watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Beverly Whitehead and her five children live in Benton City, Washington, where I’m the coordinator of the local Safe Kids coalition.

They were not able to finish watching the movie that evening. But this is not one of those heartbreaking holiday tragedy stories that we are so accustomed to hearing this time of the year, especially involving house fires. As they watched the movie, two and then three smoke alarms started beeping. The alarms were a safety gift from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. Not only that, the family was able to get out of the house quickly and efficiently because they had practiced fire drills and knew just what to do. Firefighters made it to the home quickly enough to save the home from what could have been a devastating fire.

The smoke alarm giveaway campaign was prompted by another fire that took the lives of two children 7 and 10-years-old in the town of Prosser during the summer of 2019. Their mobile home had no smoke alarms.  

Because smoke alarms are round, they can be hard to wrap. Still, the gift of safety is a good stocking stuffer. And practicing a home fire drill is a good way to exercise away those extra holiday pounds.

Planning And Practicing Home Fire Drills


Watch on YouTube | Learn more about fire safety