Oregon Head Start Association

12/07/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/07/2017 13:00

I woke up this morning

Last night I was awakened by an alarm about an hour after going to bed. No, this was not an alarm clock. This was my carbon monoxide detector.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible odorless gas that is produced when things burn. I had a fire in my fireplace last night. I had slowly closed the flue as the fire went out and went to bed once I thought the fire had died (that's an actual photo of the offending ash pile soon after the alarm went off). Without my carbon monoxide detector, I might not have woken up this morning.

I'm thankful that I knew that my fireplace was a source of CO and that I had checked the smoke alarms in my apartment and discovered that they only detected smoke, not CO and smoke. I had purchased and installed a CO alarm.

While I was awake last night waiting for my home to air out and be safe to occupy I did a little research. I discovered that rental properties in Oregon with CO sources have been required to have CO alarms since 2011. My unit did not have the legally required CO alarm installed by the owner. I now know about the law and that it's my duty to inform the property manager that there was no CO detector in my apartment. It makes me wonder how many other units don't have the required alarm.

I hope that my speaking up will help to save the lives of others. Be safe. Make sure you have a CO alarm if you have sources of carbon monoxide. Don't trust that your landlord has installed them.

Stay safe and warm this winter.