10 December 2013

Carbon Monoxide Scare

I grew up with a wood fireplace and I loved it. The hardest part was getting it started and all you really need is the stuff from the dryer and it worked well enough.  In our house here we have a gas fireplace and it doesn't have a pilot light. A little daunting, but not impossible. This ridiculously cold San Diego weather has had us with the fireplace on the last few days.

Well, earlier today I was sitting on the couch talking with a friend and an alarm went off upstairs "beep beep beep, carbon monoxide detected". Yeah, I immediately kind of freaked out.  But I went upstairs, got the alarm down, tried to shut it off, and finally just took the battery out to make it stop and then just sat back down on the couch. Even though I grew up in Florida where hurricanes and generators and carbon monoxide poisoning were all something I knew a lot about -- kind of second nature of sorts. And then a bad snowstorm hit Connecticut a few years ago and my Uncle suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning. After a hospital visit he was ok, but it was a big scary reality check.  Once both my aunt and grandma found out we were using our gas fireplace they both insisted on us getting a carbon monoxide detector. I forgot. So you can see why I was so surprised when the beeping started. The home owners are obviously a lot smarter than I gave them credit for.

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Anyways, after Nic called freaking out about my "relaxed" text we got out of the house and called San Diego Gas and Electric, at 10:48 am. Well, they informed me that even though it's a fire place, a gas fireplace should burn completely blue -- not any yellow, orange or red. Ours was a beautiful yellow, red, and orange. Whoops.

Now I'm sitting here waiting for these idiots to get here over 8 hours later. When there could be a carbon monoxide leak and realistically we could be dead. The guy on the phone even said not to leave the house unless we leave a note on the door because they'll break the door if we don't answer seeing how we could be dead or dying inside. But they obviously didn't care enough to come in a reasonable amount of time. . And everyone wonders why I dislike people.

The moral of this story is to make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector somewhere in your house, all gas burns blue, and that companies and people pretty much suck. Make sure to stay warm with the right kind of heat everyone.

An update: The man just left after finally coming at 8:30 pm. We learned that the gas fireplace will sometimes burn the yellow/orange pretty colors because they made it that way for the ambiance. . Our chimney wasn't opened. I can't stress how important it is to make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector! He measured how much was coming out and we would have been in a ton of trouble if we didn't. But now we're safe and sound with a safe fireplace again. Wahoo! 

1 comment :

  1. That is so scary! My pastor and his family had a scare a few years ago, where they came back from vacation and thought their house smelled weird. Come to find out, it was carbon monoxide leaking! If that had happened during the night... gosh. Good tip! Glad you guys are okay. That's annoying it took them so long to come, though!