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Published: Monday, 8/6/2007

Saving Christmas - or at least the presents under the tree

Congrats to Greg Chavez - who can now call himself a millionaire (before taxes leave him with just hundreds of thousands of dollars).

He won the money with an invention he calls the Guardian Angel.

Now if you've been on Mars with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears - or if you just don't have time to watch all the reality TV shows that are out there - Mr. Chavez's invention came out on top of ABC's American Inventor.

The firefighter from California said he came up with his idea essentially to save lives. A small hose leads from his invention, which is disguised as a Christmas package, to whatever happens to be at the top of a Christmas tree. If a fire were to break out, the heat would pop a fusible link and put out the fire, thus saving Christmas - or at least what's under the tree.

As I said before, I love the idea that his invention will save lives. But it's always been my philosophy to make sure that the Christmas lights are off when I'm not home. And I'd never leave them on all night while I was sleeping and not able to monitor them.

Therefore, it seems to me that the people who would need this invention would be the ones who are careless enough to ignore a potential hazard in their homes. Are those people really going to be the ones to take the time to install this potentially life-saving device? Probably not. The ones who actually would buy this machine are probably the responsible ones who would not leave the lights on unattended.

So while he had a good idea, I just don't see it taking off. But because it might keep a family together and alive near Christmas time, I hope I'm wrong.

Stay tuned.

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