THOUGHT I WAS DEPRESSED BUT IT WAS JUST A GAS LEAK
For several weeks, I struggled to get out of bed in the morning. My body felt heavy almost unable to move; I had to plead with myself to get out of bed each day. It was alarming to me because I have always been a morning person, that person who is a little too happy in the morning, eager to start the day; it drove my kids crazy growing up. The morning battle was so bad I decided the only explanation had to be that I was depressed! “Isn’t that a symptom of depression? Inability to get out of bed?”
Tuesday, February 2, started like the others but with a headache in addition to the groggy feeling. With my self-diagnosis, I headed to the bookstore to find a cure for my depression but decided to try some podcasts first. Later in the day, my head cleared, and I began to feel much better. “Hmm, maybe I should get a carbon monoxide alarm, maybe that’s the problem, maybe I’m not depressed?”
6:00 p.m. - Purchased carbon monoxide alarm (plug in model).
7:00 p.m. - Read directions-plugged alarm in outlet in our bedroom.
- Completed instructed check on alarm to ensure it was in working order.
- CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM STARTED SCREAMING
- My heart raced- opened doors, windows, turned off gas fireplace and gas furnace and went outside.
7:30 p.m. - Called the Conway Fire Department and they sent three firemen from Salem Station.
7:40 p.m. - Firefighters arrived to scan for carbon monoxide and natural gas.
The sight of a fire truck at my home after only two years of my last house burning was a little stressful but I was thrilled to see them. The firefighters scanned the entire house and found no carbon monoxide, but a trace of natural gas lingered at the gas fireplace and in the attic. They had me close the house up and turn the heat back on and they said they would be back at 9:30 p.m. to check again. Another Fire Station later joined them to compare test results.
9:30 p.m. - Two fire trucks and five firefighters came to scan for carbon monoxide and natural gas one more
time. Focusing on the areas they suspected might have a leak, they got a new reading in the attic. High
reading of natural gas, a leak in a pipe leading from the furnace. Like BOOM, HIGH! Firefighters turned off
gas and called the CenterPoint gas company to come out to our home.
"I’M NOT DEPRESSED – IT’S JUST A GAS LEAK!!" The gas was getting in the air vents from the attic and was blown into the house when the heat came on. My sluggish feeling and headache were from the natural gas leak! "NOW I AM DEPRESSED!"
10:45 p.m. - CenterPoint arrived to scan the house and do their required testing. Their findings confirmed the gas leak, and they pulled the gas meter. We then needed a plumber to replace the pipe and have the city inspect it before the gas could be turned back on.
Our gas was back on by 6:00 p.m. the next day. Huge thanks to Firefighters, Marcus at CenterPoint Energy and Salter Plumbing.
Moral to the story: Have a Carbon Monoxide Alarm and a Natural Gas Alarm. When something doesn’t feel right, check it out. Use the resources that are available to you.
SIDE NOTE: I did not put the backup battery in the carbon monoxide alarm because it is a plug in, and I was in a hurry. "IS THAT WHY THE ALARM SOUNDED?" The Firefighters put in the battery when they arrived and CRICKETS… NO ALARM.
WHAT IF: If I had put the battery in, would the alarm have gone off? Would we have found the gas leak? EERIE!!
THE CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM DOES NOT CHECK FOR NATURAL GAS!!