CO or not CO

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

That is the question, isn't it?  Especially when the "CO" is Carbon Monoxide.

Yesterday was the coldest day so far of the fall season.  I love cold weather, but yesterday it got kinda cool even for me.  I had the heater on.  Not much, but enough to keep it less than frigid in the house (for the cats...).  When I got home from work, I walked in the front door and set my stuff down, upon which I hear and loud but short "BEEP".

I looked around, wondering what that was.  Then I remembered the smoke detector and the carbon monoxide detectors on the wall.  "BEEP" I heard again, but wasn't sure which of the two was making the noise.  I stand in front of both of them (they are next to each other) and look at them....wanting them to beep.    Nothing.    I wait...still nothing.  Finally I get tired of waiting, and walk into my room.  "BEEP"

Figures.

I go back and stand in front of the detectors, and wait again.  After what seems like an eternity, the carbon monoxide detector goes "BEEP" another time.  Great!  At least I now know which one, but now I got to figure out "Why?".  I called the guys that just installed my new heater and AC unit but no one answered.  While wondering what I should do, the owner called back.  During my conversation, my detector when "BEEP", and the guy told me that he thinks its just worn out batteries, that if there was CO floating around, the detector would usually go off nonstop.  He told me to replace the batteries then see what happens.

"Usually"..."thinks"...?  Loved the certainty.  And gotta wonder about the coincidence of the batteries failing on the first day I have the heater turned on.  I didn't have new batteries in the house to use as replacements, and I didn't feel like getting out of the house again to go and buy some.  What should I do?  Well, since I didn't want to die of CO poisoning, I just opened my bedroom window when I went to bed.  Fresh air, just to make sure.  I froze, but so what?  Better to freeze than suffocate in my sleep.  At least I think so. 

Today, I got some batteries, put them in the CO detector, and no more beeps.  Guess they were right!  But better to freeze and breathe on the off chance they were wrong...



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