Here’s the scary story of what happened to me on Canada Day weekend. Please read and share it…
On Sunday, I decided to cook my (in)famous lasagna for supper. Now when it comes to cooking, alarms and I tend to go hand-in-hand. But this wasn’t a case of the usual.
After about an hour of cooking, my daughter came downstairs to tell me supper was done; “The stove is beeping,” she said. Much too early, I thought. Sure enough, when I went upstairs, it wasn’t the timer beeping, but the carbon monoxide detector in the next room. Four quick beats, then a few seconds pause, and 4 more quick beats. Repeated over and over. That’s the alarm message that there’s carbon monoxide in the house.
But you just never think these things could be legit. Afterall, when it comes to carbon monoxide, you can’t see it. You can’t smell it. I was convinced it was an error. A shorted wire. Maybe a dirty unit. Or in this case, just an old unit overdue for a change. I pressed reset on the alarm and it went off again a little while later. Still in denial, off I went to the store to buy a new detector. Hours went by with the new alarm with no issues. Then, around 11pm, as we were getting ready for bed, the new alarm starting going off too. That’s when we knew there was a real issue. I quickly gathered up the family and we went out to the car and called 9-1-1.
Fire crews came out and searched the house for carbon monoxide levels and, finding them incredibly high, filling the entire house, called Union Gas. They brought in fans to clear the house of the toxic gas. Around 2am, we were finally able to re-enter the house, feeling some of the symptoms of the earlier exposure (slight nausea, stomach pain, headaches, etc). As it turned out, my relatively new gas range (only about a year old) had a faulty valve; the appliance had been scorching itself from within, ruining many parts. Much of the stove, if not the whole thing, will have to be replaced. But that’s not the point.
The point is that if I had continued to ignore the alarms, or didn’t have them working or installed at all (as is legally required), this could have ended tragically in the night as we slept, never to wake up. That’s the way carbon monoxide works.
So please, check your smoke alarms and CO1 detectors. Make sure they’re clean, working, not older than 7 years. Because you never think it’ll be you. Until it is.