I can’t take credit for this piece. My good friend Carolyn Brown-Holder #6021 has been beating me up to write something about this for quite a few months now. Carolyn and hubby Lee Wayne Holder (yep, ol Bo Weevil) have a smoke detector in their sleeper berth and highly recommend everyone equip theirs, as well.  Anyone who has seen a truck fire knows how quickly they go. I remember one here which caught fire in the inspection lane at night several years ago. The Kenworth had an electrical overload under the dash.  In less than a minute, the cab was consumed by flames. We caught the entire event on security camera video. Fortunately, the driver was inside taking a shower at the time. Despite an eight minute response from Louisville’s Bravest, the truck was gone.

Since talking to Carolyn about this, I have had quite a few great ideas come from other drivers. It seems that quite a few of you folks have smoke detectors. Several drivers have recommended also having a carbon monoxide detector in the sleeper due to so many people having portable gas generators on their trucks and operating them at truck stops. That could be a real danger to anyone parked alongside.  It seems that several of our folks also carry multiple fire extinguishers. They have the mounted unit as required by FMCSA regs, but also have anywhere from one to three more in the sleeper berth. Great idea. Getting to the mounted one could be a real problem if you have a dash fire and you are in the sleeper berth.

A couple of you guys reminded me to tell everyone to take out your fire extinguisher from the mounted bracket every month or so and gently shake it up. That allows it to maintain its charge for a longer period of time. Good tip, especially since we seem to be getting fire extinguishers looked at a lot more these days.

Finally, for personal protection, a lot of you folks carry a can or two of wasp spray in the truck. It works better than pepper spray because it can be sprayed accurately from a greater distance. The result to the eyes is the same, or worse. Something to think about.

Thanks, Carolyn, for making me get off my dead tail and write something useful. These are the things that save lives.