Close Call.

October 31, 2006

At about 4:45 a.m. today, we were rudely awaken by a very loud robotic voice saying, “ATTENTION! EVACUATE! CARBON MONOXIDE BPS 55” and then “ATTENTION! EVACUATE! CARBON MONOXIDE BPS 58.”

It took Tim and I a few beats to wake up, and to determine that it was our fire/carbon monoxide alarm that was going off.  Half asleep, I thought it was our security alarm telling an intruder to evacuate, and I picked up our phone to make sure I’d be able to call 9-1-1 if need be.

Tim yelled upstairs to tell me to open windows…our carbon monoxide reader BPS was now in the 70’s.  The BPS is the reading of how much carbon monoxide is in your air.  A high reading can cause brain damage and is often fatal.

Amid my eldest son’s sleepy questions of “what we doing? are we up now?,” we called the local fire department.  I assured the operator that this was not an emergency, but she begged to differ.  In a matter of minutes, three firefighters, including a fire chief, arrived at our home with their carbon readers in tow.

Sure enough, our carbon monoxide levels were way too high and climbing.  We’d kicked on our gas heater for the first time this season, and it had been building carbon monoxide in our home for the last three days.  The fire chief told us that this was the first time in his fifteen years that he’d seen a carbon monoxide warning alarm be right: usually, it’s just dying batteries that set off an alarm.  But in this case, our alarm was right on the money.

Carbon monoxide has no distinguishable odor and you may not know it’s a problem.  Please make sure you have an alarm in your home that works and has good batteries.  Fire and monoxide alarms can keep your family alive.

If it weren’t for that alarm, our family would have kept sleeping…possibly permanently.  Thank God for that alarm!

About carbon monoxide poisoning: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/carbon_monoxide_poisoning/article_em.htm

2 Responses to “Close Call.”

  1. MJ- I have to say I have enjoyed reading your blog so much. It’s a little like sex and the city with out the well you know. Also imagining them all 10 years later as a life of jobs and family and responsibiltiy and unwanted pounds catch up to them. I’m glad that you have a carbon monoxide alarm and that you are all ok. I’m relieved the fire department came to check it out and that your close call can remind all of us to check our alarm systems. Finally it reminded me of how much I miss you and hearing about your life and daily activity. So thanks for providing me with this small window into the important stuff in life. Maybe it was my own little alarm reminding me to contact my friends.

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