Thread: Smoke Detectors in Amish Homes?
01-25-2000, 11:40 AM #1Truck 2Firehouse.com Guest
Smoke Detectors in Amish Homes?
We just had 4 children die in a house fire here in Northwestern Pa. The children were 1 year old through 5 I think! The parents were out in the barn working when this fire started possibly from a kerosene lamp in the childrens room.The family are Amish and don't believe in using SMOKE DETECTORS, it's against their religion.Don't forget these children are not church members at this age! They say the childrens death is Gods will! I don't want to get into a battle on religion here but what is everyones thought on this? Personally I would like to see a law mandating smoke detectors in all buildings nationwide where people Sleep! NO EXCEPTIONS, be it homeless shelters, church basements , hotels/motels, private homes,Amish houses,camping trailers,or cabins out in the woods, if you sleep there you have to have a smoke detector, PERIOD!
01-25-2000, 12:42 PM #2Ed ShanksFirehouse.com Guest
Ah, a mix of religion and politics - this is sure to bring on a flame war!
Since you ask for personal thoughts - I'd prefer the goverment keep its nose out of peoples' business. Once you open that door it's mighty hard to close it again.
Chuck, you're letting your emotions get in the way of one of the principles this country was founded on. Do you also feel that blood transfusions should be forced upon anyone and everyone who needs one? That's a Freedom of Religion choice, too. Should the Amish also have to have a telephone installed in their homes, so their alarm can be linked to a monitoring service, which would have provided a timely response in the case mentioned? Or just so they can phone for help when someone needs it?
On another facet of your wish - how would one determine what counts as a place where people sleep? Could I not have friends spend the night in my living room on the Hide-A-Bed because there's no smoke alarm in the living room? And why stop at smoke alarms? CO kills many people every year - let's require a CO detector in every place where one might encounter CO! Every house with a gas appliance or fireplace of any type (except those that are purely ornamental), every garage, shed that houses a lawnmower, ...
See, when you start taking away rights "for their own good" it's too easy to go just a little further, and a little further still, until you end up like Germany in the late 1930s. If the Amish, or the Mormons, or the 7th Day Adventists, or whoever, choose to live in a way allowed by the laws of this country, as long as they accept the responsibilities that go with the priveleges, they have every right to do so.
Remember, you asked for personal thoughts!
01-25-2000, 06:00 PM #3HHoffmanFirehouse.com Guest
First I would like to say that fire was handled by the fire department that I got my start in. To all the members of the Washington Twp. PA Fire Company I'm here if you need to talk.
I grew up in an Amish area, and they always respected us. I feel that we should do the same to them. We may be able to educate them that smoke detectors save lives. Then let the choice to them.
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