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Years ago, I used to have a friend who was a somewhat well-known character in computing circles. One day, in his home that he had wired and re-wired many times to accommodate his expanding home-technology fetish, a couple wires started smoking and started a small fire within the wall of the house. My friend punched a small hole in the wall, ran a garden hose in, and put out the fire. I asked why he didnt simply call the fire department. He replied that if the fire department arrived they would have torn apart the entire wall, despite his protests, and basically destroyed the place to get to the fire. He figured his small hole in the wall would give him enough access and patch up pretty easily.

New York has quite the diamond/jewelry district. When a burglar alarm goes off, the cops respond but aren’t permitted entry to the store (by previous agreement). The reason is because if a handful of cops run into an unattended jewelry store in the middle of the night looking for someone, the odds are fairly high their pockets will be bulging on the way out.

So, what do these two stories have in common? In both cases, someone determined that the value provided by having ‘official’ response to an emergency was not worth the suspected risk.

I was thinking about that as the plumber was installing a new shutoff valve in my house today. I was thinking about having a line run off the house water line to a small hose bib tucked under the stairs or under the kitchen sink. Purpose? Indoor firefighting. I keep a goodly supply of fairly substantial fire extinguishers around…but if my kerosene heater ignites something in a major way, a flat hose coiled under the sink might come in handy. I’m certainly in no hurry to have civil authorities in my house for any reason. Last thing I want is the fire department responding to a grease fire that got away from me and them passing a note to the feds about an unusually large amount of ammo in some guys basement.

Not sure of the merits, though. I mean, it sounds like a good idea on its face. A compact coil of hose in an out-of-the-way spot ready to go at a moments notice. But I suppose I could get the same effect if I just ran into the yard and threaded the garden hose through the window. Not sure. Whaddya think? Brilliant? Good Idea? Meh? Stupid? Idiotic?

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