Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Carbon Monoxide Detectors Expire


This is my public service announcement. It is another thing I knew but paid no attention to since my husband died. I guess he didnt' either because both my detectors are too old. Carbon monoxide detectors do expire. 

My story starts with my busy (or almost busy) day. One grandson had a track meet and another had a band concert. I headed out about 2:30pm to go to Ewan's track meet. It was raining, but I packed up a blanket, warm jacket, raincoat and umbrella. I was almost there when the track meet was called off. My decision was to go a half hour back home or stay until Jack's concert at 7:00pm. I decided to go back home but started visiting with my daughter and before I knew it it was silly to go home. My other daughter told me to come for supper before the concert, so I went there. The concert was awesome, and I got home at 9:15pm. I had a snack and noticed a raccoon had figured out how to get onto the camera bird feeder. I yelled at him through the microphone, but alas he came back. They aren't as cute close up. but I let him be and planned how to fix that in the morning. 

By the time I was all ready for bed, it was 10:45. In the quiet of the house, I could hear a beep. I got up and gradually worked my way to the sound. It was in the basement. Yikes, it was the carbon monoxide detector. I looked and it said "get to fresh air". I called my daughter and said I was coming back to her house. I got dressed, packed Pj's and was in the car again. It was 11:11. Those who know me know that was comforting. I had presence of mind to take the batteries out of the device before I called my daughter and tried new ones. Nope, it still beeped. I didn't investigate or troubleshoot any further. I don't think clearly under pressure. On the way, I had more time to think logically. I thought my upstairs detector didn't go off, but the door was closed so maybe it hadn't detected it yet. Every one was in bed when I got there, so my daughter put me in one of their spare bedrooms. Surprisingly I fell asleep quickly. In the morning we googled carbon monoxide detectors. I didn't know they have a relatively short expiration date. After seven years you need a new one. I also didn't know all the information is on the back of the device. Apparently when the detector beeps every 30 seconds it just means it is dead. If it has a continuous sound, it is time to vacate and call 911. It also has the date on the back.  I thought this was the  "new" one, and it was made in 2005.  Time passes so quickly sometimes.

So my advice for today is to check your detectors. Both of mine are too old. Thank goodness nothing bad happened the past few years. I felt confident they would alert me and never gave it a thought. Today I will be replacing them. It is a very nerve wracking feeling to think you have to vacate your house especially late at night.