My Brush with Death, A PSA for All of You

So far, today has been interesting. Just to catch you up to speed, the furnace in my apartment has been having trouble with the pilot light in that it won’t stay lit. As a favor to my landlord I offered to work from home today and let the repairman into my place and so he complete the repair.

When he arrived I showed him the furnace and told him that I think the thermal coupler was probably the culprit. After offering my analysis regarding the cause of the furnace’s state of disrepair I was quick to tell him that he shouldn’t take my word for it since all of the knowledge I possess  regarding boilers can fit on one side of a cocktail napkin.  James, the repair man, gave a couple of attempts at lighting the pilot light and low and behold my diagnosis of the problem turned out to be correct.  I love it when I sound handymanly.

James made short work of the installation of the new thermal coupler and together we got the furnace up and running in no time.    Once the furnace was running I told him about another issue of one of the pipes leaking water.  James informed me that it was a pressure release valve and that we would probably need to let all of the water in the system circulate before we would see any leaking.  Shortly thereafter we discovered that I have been flirting with death for weeks now.

Co Decal

CO poisoning will fuck you up!

James decided to run a carbon monoxide test while we waited for any signs of leakage. Well wouldn’t you know it. The early run of the test showed that the CO levels were around 3 parts per million. A level of 3 ppm is not such a big deal but according to James he fire department will shut a boiler down if it reads 8 ppm. Quickly the reading of 3 ppm on his CO detector went up to 10 ppm.

A reading of 10 ppm? That can’t be correct, can it?  Looking around the boiler closet we saw that there was a CO detector installed on the wall and we decided to push the test button.  The instant James hit the test button the house alarm went off.  Quickly I surmised that the CO detector was connected to the home security system.  Without being rattled I shut the alarm off and we didn’t think anything about it. After our quick thinking and action we noticed that the CO detector had shot up to 50 ppm.

50 ppm? The folks at OSHA say that is the maximum amount for anyone wanting to stay in the ‘being alive’ business.  Once you start to creep up higher than that, things progressively get worse.  I could go on and on but as CO levels climb around you the less time you have before you simply just check out, for good.

Remember the part about the home alarm? If you forgot, don’t worry because the fire department didn’t.  They showed up at the house in what seemed to be minutes after the alarm shut off. Apparently the fire department knows that CO poisoning is serious business and they arrived in force to rescue folks that could be die in 1-3 minutes if levels get too high.  That is some serious shit there CO, not cool.

James and I were able to ward off the fire department by telling them that we had set the alarm off by accident.  Thank goodness too because I didn’t want firemen traipsing through my apartment to tell me what I already knew, CO is bad. Very, very bad and not in the naughty fun way.

I see that this post is rather long but I want to warn the fans of Bums Logic to make sure that you have proper working CO detectors installed.  The one I have was on the floor by the boiler not plugged in nor did it have a battery backup. Whoops! James also said that the CO detector connected to the home alarm system probably only goes off when the CO levels get to extremely dangerous levels. In the interest of cutting this short, by the time things had calmed down the CO detector James had was reading over 60 ppm. So now the heat is off and my landlord is looking at a hefty bill for the installation of a new boiler.

So in closure, with winter rapidly approaching and the thermometer dropping folks need to be sure to have CO detectors installed and tested when the furnace goes on to keep us warm at night.

I apologize if this post annoyed you given that it is without any humorous anecdotes so to make up for it I give you the following…

Non sequitur, I really hope that Bieber kid did knock up that woman in LA last year. Is it gossipy and totally non-news worthy? Yes. But come on, the little shit needs to be knocked down a peg or two.  Maybe then he will experience real life and possibly make better music, not just for the world but also for his Baby, Baby, Baby.


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