When I caught the toaster on fire as a kid, I stood still, unable to make a quick decision about how to handle it. My mom ran into the room, extinguished the flames and barely winked. I thought it was some superpower only moms had. Later, I realized that as we get older, we’re constantly putting out fires, both literally and figuratively. Maybe your kid nearly sets the kitchen on fire with his science project, or your employee accidentally attaches a selfie to an important client email instead of the invoice.
Whatever fires you’re putting out, as I learned from my mom all those years ago, practice actually does make you more calm, which helps you react quickly and effectively. Today, pat yourself on the back for all the fires you’ve put out, even if you’re the one who started them.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 11 Percent
These kinds of quick reactions women exhibit means they’d be pretty fantastic at putting the kibosh on actual wildfires, right? While women hold 39 percent of positions with the U.S. Forest Service, only 11 percent account for permanent wildfire positions, and other agencies that fight fires have an even lower percentage of female employees.
One reason: Stopping wildfires can mean firefighters are away from home and family for weeks at a time. Of course, there’s always that darn glass ceiling, and fighting fires has long been considered a man’s job.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Ann-Christine Langselius, Founder and CEO of Miraculum
Women don’t need to twirl down the fire pole and compete in chili contests to be effective firefighters. In fact, it’s possible to be a successful firefighter by not even stepping outside of a laboratory. That’s where today’s Woman to Watch comes in. Ann-Christine Langselius moved from Sweden to the States with an eco-friendly concoction that extinguishes fires faster and better than water ever could.
After four and a half years developing the technology, which initially began by using materials and household products in her kitchen, Ann-Christine—a former Swedish Air Force pilot, by the way—introduced the world to Miraculum, her groundbreaking fire-safety company. So, just how innovative are Miraculum’s products? Well, according to Ann-Christine, seven gallons of Miraculum’s fire retardant is as effective on fire as 176 gallons of water. Yep, you heard that right. It’s amazing stuff.
What’s also cool is that Miraculum offers preventative products too. In fact, Ann-Christine has fostered an agreement with the Swedish government through which they prevent forest fires by spraying Miraculum products on their forests prior to fire season.
From big-scale forest fires and prevention to everyday fire concerns in individual households, Miraculum—Latin for “miracle”—has an array of products for nearly every fire concern you can think of. When it comes to home fire safety, families can rest easier by integrating Miraculum products into mattresses and building materials, and spraying retardants on everything from Christmas trees to curtains.
Think about it: Do you know where your household or workplace fire extinguisher is? Do you know how to use it? Ann-Christine says it only takes a minute for an entire room to go up in flames. And, as women, she notes, we shouldn’t rely on men to handle such jobs, but take it upon ourselves to understand fire hazards and know how to put them out fast. And with Miraculum’s home kit, which includes a pretty darn stylish fire extinguisher, even design gurus will be more likely to place the extinguisher on the wall or on a countertop, where it’s easy to access in a hot minute. Seriously, y’all, a couple of seconds could be the difference between life and death.
Thank you, Ann-Christine, for demonstrating that we shouldn’t ever settle for the status quo, especially when it comes to saving lives.
QUITE THE QUOTE:
Today, confirm where your home fire extinguisher is and that you know how to effectively operate it. As this longtime fire-safety slogan says:
“Don’t let your dreams go up in smoke. Practice fire safety.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.