Saturday, April 26, 2008

BTALD: Public Service Announcement?


So there was the squirrel incident, and then the duck incident - followed by the dishwasher incident, and then the carbon monoxide alarm incident which led to the water heater incident. Dang. If our life was a reality show I think it would be titled something like, "What the Hell is Going On?"
Anyway, here's a big scoop. Get this - you can get smoke detectors that also come with a handy carbon monoxide alarm in them. Right? Except there's this problem: See, smoke goes up. You know, up. The chimney. Up into the air. Up!
Carbon monoxide? It goes down. Like, close to the floor. Down.
So, for a carbon monoxide alarm to go off when it's near your ceiling, the amount of carbon monoxide that would have to be present in your house would be a whole lot, enough to ensure that you were quite dead.
This whole combination alarm thing now looks pretty dumb.
This may be why when the fire guys showed up and we told them we weren't sure what to do with this alarm going off, he said, "Have you tried throwing it out into the street and driving over it?"
I don't think the fire guys like these combo units.
Anyway, magically this PG&E guy appeared at our door, to check CO levels in the house - nobody's sure who called him. But when he opened the door to the closet where our water heater lives, he found that the exhaust pipe for it had corroded and fallen. Off.
Now, this would not give off carbon monoxide, but it's good to know nonetheless. So maybe the house set off the alarm to tell us, "Hey, over in this part of me -- something is messed up. Over here! Over! Here! Hey!" Like that.
Now that we've paid like triple time for the nice plumber to come put a new exhaust thing on the water heater on a Saturday (no hot water till we got this done you see), we're kind of keeping our heads low. Not low enough to breathe carbon monoxide, but low. Until the next incident.
So here's your friendly tip: Smoke detector high, carbon monoxide alarm low.
Until next time, this is your friendly cartoonist signing off until the next wildlife/appliance/alarm event.

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