Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What To Do When The Carbon Monoxide Alarm Goes Off. Get Your Purse.

It was pretty exciting around here yesterday. The Stanley Steemer guy was here to clean the carpets but THAT was not very exciting. The REAL excitement began when the fire truck pulled up and three burly firemen hurriedly scrambled off the truck.

Let me explain. The Stanley Steemer guy backed his truck up to the garage to do the carpet cleaning downstairs. I found out later this is a definite no-no. As soon as he had finished cleaning and opened the door to the garage the carbon monoxide alarm went off. I assumed it was the fire alarm and that something about the cleaning had set it off, so I called the alarm company while he left the door open downstairs and got packed up. The alarm company informed me it was a carbon monoxide alarm and the fire department was on the way. And just about that time, they showed up and came striding into the open garage.

I thought it was all kind of silly, just a mistake, everything was fine and then the burliest fireman said, as he held up some sort of gauge "The levels in here are lethal. Exit the building immediately, Ma'am."

And I, being the quick thinking in an emergency person that I am, replied "Uh. Let me get my shoes".

Now, lest you think that I am a COMPLETE idiot, I did not even consider grabbing the two new pairs of shoes that were sitting in my living room. Well. Maybe for a minute. I just meant let me put on some shoes, since I was barefoot. But he hustled me right out of there. I did manage to snag my purse on the way out the door.

I'm not sure why. My cell phone was still on the charger. The best I could have done was possibly apply some lipstick. I didn't. But I could have. Because I HAD MY PURSE.

So, they set up fans and opened the windows and aired out the place while I sat on the porch with my purse and waited. I still thought they might be overreacting just a tad, so after they finished and told me everything was fine, just leave the windows open for an hour or so because there were still pockets of carbon monoxide, I casually asked the burliest fireman "What would have happened if the alarm had not gone off? If I had gone down to do laundry or watch a movie down there?"

He leaned forward seriously and said "Ma'am. If you went down there and fell asleep. You WOULD NOT WAKE UP."

And I forgot all about shoes and purses and having to sit outside in the hot sun for half an hour and trying to write a funny post about this in my head and I just thanked God for our alarm system. Thanked God.

If you don't have a carbon monoxide alarm, you should immediately go out and purchase one. Google informs me that 500 people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States.

Check out my Herald-Leader blog post for today: Another Secret Neighborhood Park


Bobbi's Book Nook said...

Scary! I'm glad you're okay.

Ariel said...

Oh my goodness!!! I'm so glad you're okay! How scary!!!

Anonymous said...

Now that is something to write about. I'm glad you are okay. I don't think we have one at home. I am going to check right away. vj

sarah said...

wow that really is so scary!What did the Carpet Cleaners have to say about all this? That is just amazingly careless for them to have not realized they were putting you in such danger! Thank God you have the alarm!

Boo said...

I'm sooo glad you're okay. I'll be checking on our alarm right away!

Deodand said...

I was lazy about getting a CO alarm myself, but my fireman father-in-law hustled one in the door first thing when we bought our house. Everyone should have one, but it's even more important when you have an older furnace.

Alice said...

My dad told me a horrible story of a hot tub that was leaking carbon monoxide in a hotel room. The occupants were very fortunate that it was caught before they went to bed. Scary!