Sunday, November 16, 2008


I came upstairs earlier tonight with Aliza to get something from her room and heard an irritating buzzing noise coming from our bedroom....I dismissed it as one of Russ' many electronic devices and went downstairs again. An hour or so later, back upstairs, to hear the buzzing still happening....and again, after our bedtime routine with Aliza the buzzing was STILL happening.

I took a moment to track the noise down and discovered our Carbon Monoxide detector was flashing an alarm.

And promptly freaked.

Not in the screaming, running around the house kind of way. No, in the "what the hell do we do now? Oh my god are we going to be one of those stories on the news about the family that gets violently ill in the middle of the night because they were too dumb to leave the house when their detector went off" kind of way. I called to Russ who did the same thing I did, which was to push the test/reset button, and sure enough, it was still buzzing and flashing. He decided to bring it downstairs to see if it flashed there. It did. Then he brought it outside to the garage to see if it flashed there. It did. Throughout this process, I frantically opened windows, lowered the heat and debated with Russ about calling the fire department.

To make the night even more interesting, our cat, Linus, escaped onto the roof because one of the windows didn't have a screen on it. So I crawled onto the roof in the pitch dark to get him, envisioning falling and breaking a limb, ambulances, flashing lights, trips to the E.R....while doing so....luckily we both made it back into the house safely and Linus was locked in the basement.

Finally, I did call the fire department. They told us they'd send a guy over to take a more accurate I ran around closing all the windows, figuring the reading won't be accurate if the windows are blowing fresh air in. The fire truck arrived (we got reprimanded for our house number, which is difficult to see because the previous owners painted it the same color as the house so it blends right in) and three very nice fire fighters arrived. One walked around with a Ghostbusters-looking gadget to take couch and noticed our various gaming systems. They reassured us everything was fine, encouraged us to buy new meters and departed.

I'm still sleeping with the windows open and a fan going in Aliza's room. And, yes, we are buying three new detectors in the morning.


Keetha said...

How scary that must have been. I can't imagine.

Kelli said...

Talk about a non-relaxing Sunday evening. Yikes!
Glad everyone ended up being safe & sound though.

On a similar note, I have this very weird old furnace thing in my apartment. It's in my living room and is the only heat source for the place. The past few days when I've had it on I've been terrified I'll go to bed and my body will be discovered the next day b/c I was breathing in fumes all night. Not the more settling way to climb into bed...

JaxMom said...

Yikes. I would not know what to do.

I had a gas leak from a faulty gas dryer hook up, but I was away on a campaign, and the girl who was watching my house noticed it and dealt with it for me, calling me only AFTER she had the situation under control. Gas company said that if the furnace had kicked on, the whole place would have blown. Nice.

I have a new furnace now.

Anonymous said...

Re reprimanded for our house number - good lesson for us all! We hope these things will never happen but we don't want any delay when the emergency services need to find our homes. All that's needed is a decent sized house number on a contrasting background.

Mom s said...

Yipes!!! This is an awful story.
Very Scary!!!
Good lessons for all of us. I just bought our -FIRST- carbon monoxide detectors today. We've never had them...

nonna said...

So can I be a Mom a reprimand you for climbing on the roof,IN The Dark No Less! What were you thinking?
I'm glad everyone is OK.
We need to buy a unit too.It's not something one thinks of.