I just returned from a morning trip to Cleveland Metro’s burn unit, where an attractive nurse-type figure redressed the upper-second-degree burns on my left hand.

“At least the basket of puppies is okay.”

Something tells me she wasn’t going to fall for that line. And let’s be honest: neither are you. I can claim no such honorable deed.

You know it was a decent Friday night when you find yourself in the ER during the wee hours of the next morning. Evidently, I had to relearn what most must know as obvious fire safety. So the following list of nuggets will come as nothing new, but here they are:

  • Fire is hot.
  • If you must use candles, picture that candle burning all the way down and make provisions as if that’s exactly what it’s going to do.
  • Fire is hot. And it hurts.
  • Make sure any candles are not in a position (*cough*nightstand*cough*) where something can land on top of them. This…this is where I failed.
  • You are not going to believe how hot fire is until you use your hand to swat a pile of burning debris out the door.
  • Do not use your hand to swat a pile of burning debris. In fact, use about anything OTHER than your hand. Why? a) You use your hands for just about everything, including swatting, and you’d rather it not get taken out of commission; b) I hear hands have a high density of nerves, and I believe it.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors are present and functional.
  • Have a fire extinguisher conveniently located in your house
  • Finally, fire is hot. I generally suggest not touching it. You will regret it.
  • See? All pretty simple notions, right? Keep them in mind and you may very well lead a more comfortable life. As for me, aside from some momentary discomfort, a bruised ego, and perhaps a jeopardized future in hand modeling, I’m going to be just fine.