Imagine receiving a frightening phone call from your elderly grandparents, who live out-of-state and are calling to tell you that they love you, but they’re dying. That’s precisely what happened to Ariane Townsend. And if she hadn’t of called the fire department in her grandparents’ hometown, they would have likely died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
During the phone call, Ariane’s grandparents told her that they were nauseous and vomiting. They were having problems breathing and were very weak. And based upon the phone conversation, they were very confused and not making much sense. The call ended with her grandfather telling her that they were dying, but they loved her. And with a final “bye-bye,” he hung up.
About 45 minutes later after calling the fire department, Ariane received a call back. Her grandparents were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning and were being transferred to the hospital. A massive bird nest in their home’s chimney had caused the build-up of carbon monoxide in their home.
Since carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless, many people don’t realize the toxic gas is building up in their home until it becomes too late. In fact, every year, over 400 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Luckily, Ariane’s grandparents weren’t added to that statistic.
Here are some things you can do to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home:
- Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector alarm in your home.
- Check your carbon monoxide detector regularly to make sure it’s functioning properly. Replace the batteries regularly.
- Leave your home immediately if the alarm goes off and call 911.
- Make sure that all gas, oil or coal-burning appliances are properly vented to the outside, so carbon monoxide can’t build up in your home.
- Never patch a vent pipe with tape or something else. Have it repaired by a qualified service technician.
- Have your gas, oil or coal-burning appliances inspected by a qualified technician every year.
- Have your chimney checked and cleaned every year by a professional chimney service, like T.J.’s Chimney Service. Call 317-455-5310 to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection and cleaning.
- If you suspect you may have a carbon monoxide leak, stop using the appliance you believe may be causing the problem. Open doors and windows to ventilate your home.
- Seek medical attention immediately, if you think you may have carbon monoxide poisoning – you’re feeling dizzy, light-headed, fatigued or nauseous.
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So take steps to ensure Ariane’s grandparents’ story doesn’t become your own. Get your chimney inspected and cleaned today by T.J.’s Chimney Service, located in Hancock County, IN.