We kid a lot about the recent “winter storm effects” in Dallas, TX, but just a bit to North of us it’s serious business. People have been without power for a week or more in parts of Oklahoma, and every time this sort of situation pops up, people die.
What’s truly sad is that many of these deaths are due to carbon monoxide poisoning — people asphyxiating themselves by trying to heat or power their homes through unusual methods. Some of the most foolish methods — like dragging a charcoal grill indoors — can be avoided with common sense. But for those of us not used to heating our houses the oldest-fashioned way, there’s still a risk.
The easiest way to avoid dying in your sleep from CO is to simply purchase a small, portable, CO alarm like the one pictured above. It’ll give you a chance to get outside and figure out what happened.
There are dozens of these on the market, both personal/portable versions like the one pictured and permanent-mount units, which are often available as combination fire alarms/CO alarms. (I replaced my standard fire alarms with these outside the attic where my gas heater resides. Better safe than sorry.) The benefit of portability is that you could stick it in your pocket while gassing portable generators and such — a number of deaths this year came from this task.
This one operates for quite some time on a single 9V battery, and could’ve saved most of the lives lost in the last few weeks — for $50 lousy dollars.
Come to think of it, why doesn’t FEMA hand these suckers out in Oklahoma instead of just going door-to-door with a freakin’ survey?
Street Pricing [Froogle]