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