Warning: How Pizza Can Be a Fire Hazard

Warning: How PizzaBoxes Can Be a Fire Hazard

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My family recently learned how pizza, more specifically, pizza boxes, can be a fire hazard.

Two weeks ago, I headed off for several days without my family and almost without a care in the world to my first blogging conference. I attended Focused Blogging in Richmond, Virginia. In another life, this would have been a 90-minute drive (without traffic), but now Richmond is over 4 hours away from home.

Warning: How PizzaBoxes Can Be a Fire Hazard
Warning: How Pizza Boxes Can Be a Fire Hazard
Warning: How Pizza Boxes Can Be a Fire Hazard
Warning: How Pizza Boxes Can Be a Fire Hazard

The first night, during dinner, I received a frantic phone call from my younger son. He burned his hand and was not only in pain but frightened.

“What happened?” I asked.

Sheepishly, he explained there was a small fire in his room. A fire?!! Now I was panicked….

Trying to stay calm, not so much because other conference attendees were in earshot, but so that I would not upset my son, I asked for details.

He confessed. The fire in his bedroom started because he left a pizza box next to his computer. His computer’s central processing unit (CPU) overheated. The box caught fire.

In panic mode, he picked up the burning box to try to dispose of it and put out the fire. His first stop, the upstairs bathroom, left him panicked when he couldn’t fit the burning box in the small sink. So, he carried the burning pizza box down a flight of stairs and dumped it in the kitchen sink.

After putting out the fire, he felt the damage he inflicted upon himself. Severe burns on his right hand. But, he reassured me over the phone, his older brother rode his bike over to the pharmacy and brought back emergency burn relief gel (aloe vera-based).

Collecting myself, I reassured my son that he should go see the school nurse in the morning, explain that Mom is out of town, and have her check to make sure he didn’t need to see a doctor. I asked him to send me a photo of his hand too. (He did, but it was wrapped in gauze, so I couldn’t assess the damage.)

The next day, of course, during a conference workshop, my phone rang.

Truth be told, I was mortified by having to temporarily duck out of the session. But I needed to know how severe the burns were.

Second degree burns with really big blisters. The school nurse said my son was experiencing pain and was having trouble writing. Which hand was burned? I asked.

Right hand.

Ah, I told the nurse….I don’t doubt he is in pain, but my son is left handed, so please give him ibuprofen and let me speak with him and then send him back to class, thank you.

I chatted with my son and reassured him that if his hand wasn’t healing properly, I would take him to see a doctor upon my return, but that for now, nature needed to run its course. I then told him about an accident I had as a child when hot steam burned a huge triangle on my right hand and that first it will blister, then pop, and that we had to just make sure that the area was kept clean to prevent infection.

Sometimes all they need is for mom to say it’s going to be ok. Two days later, when I arrived home, my son showed off his war wounds, but said it didn’t hurt.

So, I told him, the next time you order pizza, please remember to throw out the box!





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