I got home around 7:45 last night. About 15 minutes later, the carbon monoxide detector went off. My wonderful wife, who’s Indian name is “LivesWithABUMD”, mentioned that this was the second time it had gone off. The first time was just before I’d gotten home, and with LivesWithABUMD being a techie sort, she had assumed (as I would have) that it was a false positive, and she’d replaced the battery. Even with a new battery, the damn thing was still going off.
Now, there are several reasonable responses to such stimuli. Since I can’t see, taste, smell, or otherwise feel anything wrong, I’m perfectly comfortable standing there trying to figure out what’s making it do that. Luckily, LivesWithABUMD had an even more reasonable response to having a machine that we had purchased to detect invisible, tasteless, odorless, poison gasses tell us that it had found some.
We got kids and cats out of the house and called the non-emergency number; the emergency responders walked in the house with their sensor wands … and walked right the hell back out again to get their masks and gear. They had clocked dangerous CO readings just walking in the door.
Long story short, everyone is fine. We stayed the night at my folks’ house, since the responders couldn’t locate the source of the CO. The gas is still off, so we’re dealing with the gas company, the furnace people, the stove people, and maybe finding someone to look at the hot water heater as well. The best guess is that we knocked the burner-cap and dislodged it last time we cleaned the stove. LivesWithABUMD had been cooking soup on that burner for two hours before all this happened. We hope it’s that simple.
So, the phrase of the day is, go replace your batteries. If you don’t have a CO detector built into your smoke detector, go get a new one. Mind you, if you don’t already have a smoke detector either, that’s fine – you don’t really need one. Just trust me. The rest of you, go replace your batteries.