Thursday, November 18, 2010

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a very serious issue that I don't think gets enough attention.

5 years ago today, we learned this lesson in a hard way. Thankfully, by God's grace, it wasn't a fatal lesson. But one we have every intention of sharing so others can help prevent this situation.

Every home, no matter what, should have a carbon monoxide detector. It truly is a silent, deadly killer. By the grace of God, we purchased one 6 years ago.

It undoubtedly saved our lives.

Photo from Fotosearch

5 years ago yesterday, we woke up at 4:30 a.m. {according to my journal; no I don't actually remember this off the top of my head!} with our carbon monoxide detector going off. We'd used our woodburning stove the night before and thought at first it must be from that. After airing out our basement and wishing we could fall back to sleep, we headed off to work. That night when I got home I didn't smell anything or sense anything strange. The CO detector wasn't going off so I called Tim and told him I thought it was safe. {We worried about it a little bit off and on that day.} So we went to bed as usual that night.

5 years ago today, we were quickly awakened at 1:15 a.m. when it started going off again. This time after Tim came back upstairs from our family room he said he was having trouble breathing. I then realized I was also breathing strangely. Tim searched quickly and dialed the non-emergency fire department number. We started airing out the house, but it was below freezing so we had to be careful. I wrapped myself up in coats and a bunch of blankets and stood outside while we waited the few minutes for the firefighters to arrive.

I tell you, it's kind of surreal to have a fire truck quietly pull up to your house with the lights flashing and no sound. We've never had a fire truck at our house before, let alone 1 o'clock in the morning! Gave me the eebie-jeebies. My stomach was all in knots. They were really nice and helpful though. They took a hand-held gadget around the house to check the CO levels. After a few minutes, we got a hit. The main guy held it up to the vent that's just a little above the CO detector {which was sitting on top of Tim's desk}, and sure enough that's where it was coming from. The vent. The furnace.

It had absolutely nothing to do with the woodburning stove, the entire reason we'd bought the detector in the first place.


Then more tough news. We were at near toxic levels and while we didn't have to race right out of the house, they gave us some instructions, told us to pack up, set the thermostat at 60 so the pipes wouldn't freeze, and go somewhere else to stay for the night. I think we were both slightly shaken at this point, but also filled with some calm and peace that can only come from the oodles of prayers we'd given up to the Lord over the last 24 hours.

The firefighters confirmed that it was a really good thing we had the CO detector. We would never have guessed our furnace was the problem and we most likely would have died in our sleep, breathing in all those toxic fumes.

I don't remember when the full weight of it all hit me. We could have died. God prevented it.

I do remember thanking God over and over and over again for His protection over us.

If you don't have a carbon monoxide detector, get one. They're readily available at your local hardware stores. Get it now.

It could save your life and the lives of those you love.

To be continued....

1 comment:

Sarakastic said...

Thanks for the reminder, I really love your idea of life anniversaries!