New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

Commentary

Should We Focus More On Saint Florian

Valentine’s Day is expected to bring in over $18 billion dollars in retail sales this year. Valentine Day cards, flowers, candies and romantic dinners are the most common items purchased. If your significant other relies on what you do on February 14th to feel loved—then you are doing it all wrong. In fact, if we really wanted to show our loved ones how much we care we would remove Saint Valentine from the spotlight and focus more on Saint Florian.

Unless you are related to a firefighter, Saint Florian’s name may not be familiar. Saint Florian was a Roman commander who was born sometime in the middle of the third century A.D. In addition to his military duties, Saint Florian led the fire brigade which contributed to his becoming the patron saint of firefighters. Why should we focus more on Saint Florian? The U.S. Fire Administration has identified the United States as having a significantly higher fire death rate than the majority of other nations that comprise the industrialized world. In fact, as of last week the number of people killed by fire in their homes in the United States had reached an unacceptable 380. This number is inflated further if we consider fires in the workplace, motor vehicle fires, etc…

It is for this reason that I would love to see some of the $18 billion dollars spent in the name of Saint Valentine diverted to Saint Florian’s cause. Imagine if Hallmark came up with a line of cards that contained fire safety messages that flew off the shelves the way Valentine’s Day cards do. Instead of roses, buy your loved one a combination smoke and CO alarm. Nothing says I love you like letting another person know you care about their safety. I am a realist, and I recognize that these suggestions will probably not be acted upon. However, if you absolutely need to have your romantic dinner by candle light—please make sure you use a flameless candle. They provide all of the elements of romantic ambience without any of the dangers associated with an open flame.

Happy Valentine’s Day from the New Britain Fire Marshal’s Office. Please contact us at 860-826-4310 to have a free smoke alarm installed in your home, or for any questions or concerns related to fire safety.