The Life You Save may Be Your Own

SoCarbon Monoxide a nice straight forward peaceful day. Work had been straightforward enough. Go somewhere, fix a wire. Go some place else, play musical chairs with the kit. Drop off old stuff. Pick up new stuff. Go another place and sort out things there. I know that horrifically simplified, but I can’t think of a way to make field service exciting with out getting into trouble.

So the working day ends and I get to indulge in my little geeky guilty pleasure of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Feeling the lure of the Dark Side, I roll up a Sith Inquisitor. Not long into the character generation process, an ear splitting siren sounds. It’s my carbon monoxide alarm. Well it’s good to know that the thing works. But it is the kind of thing you hope to never properly test. So what was the advise on that leaflet that I got with the detector again? That’s right, don’t die. Well that’s a good & solid plan that I can respect. So on the bright side at least the outside temperature is in positive figures. But this does now mean that I will have to face me fear of spiders and moths. Well tough luck irrational phobias, because I’m opening the windows.

By the power of Google, a free phone number for British gas is found. This did put me through to a lady with an incredibly quiet voice. Not particularly helpful when you stood next to an open window with a main road near by. But never mind. The conversation progressed with a higher than recommended RDA of “Pardon?”. The end result being that there would be an engineer out in less than an hour. Think that’s fast? Try 20 minuets. Awesome!

A very nice fella turned up. He was even wearing a personal carbon monoxide detector. And it was going off. So dangerous levels of carbon monoxide outside stood in a breeze? This can’t be good. Also a noticeable smell of gas. In the back of my mind I’m telling myself to keep calm and not to panic. So I’m trying to give off an air of there being nothing that serious. And this is where the engineer tells you that this is very serious. The kind of serious where people will wonder why they haven’t seen you and your not answering your phone in a terminally sleepy kind of way. That’s kind of a brown trouser moment.

Anyway, the guy checks everything out and my kit gets the all clear. YAY! I can turn the central heating back on. Turns out the fault is with the neighbor’s gas boiler. So the engineer toddles off round there to make the appliance safe, and then just got to wait for the air to clear a bit. So a cup of coffee and a chat are in order. I have a pleasant chat with the guy. And eventually the meter he’s wearing registers that the air in my home is now safe. So I get to finally close the windows, while eying up the various moths and other winged nasties that have invaded my home.

But it’s those throw away comments that tend to stick in your mind. The engineer was telling me about the conversation he had just previously had with my neighbors. He had knocked on the door and introduced himself and explained that their gas boiler was being a bit of a hazard. They’re nice couple next door. Studying to become nurses. But anyway, he was telling the lass that he would need to take a look at the boiler. Because death is a bad thing. At about that moment the fella commented on that he had smelt a strong gas smell most mornings at around 5:00am as he was going to work. The engineer couldn’t quite believe that someone would be that dismissive about gas.

Got a gas appliance?

Got a carbon monoxide detector?

The life you save my be your own.