It is not often I find a gadget that everyone should buy, but today is one of those days.
It seems not a month goes by that I don’t read or watch a news report about a home that has exploded because of a buildup of natural gas. And everyone read the stories about the entire neighborhood just north of Love Field that was evacuated for weeks this winter due to gas leaks.
Every time we see that a house has exploded, my wife and I say a prayer for the people involved and another prayer that the same thing would not happen to us. We live in an older part of East Dallas where the lines have been replaced, but we still worry.
Most people have smoke detectors in their homes – hopefully several. And homes and apartments with gas appliances should also have carbon monoxide detectors.
What you may not know is that everyone who lives in a neighborhood with gas service – even if your home doesn’t use gas – should have a natural gas detector to warn you of potentially deadly natural gas or propane gas buildups in and around your home.
Gas leaking from underground pipes near your home can accumulate under your house and potentially explode.
I’m a pretty tech-savvy guy, but I’ll admit that until I watched a recent local news report about gas explosions, I didn’t know gas detectors existed.
The news reporter held up a combination gas/carbon monoxide detector, and before the newscast was over, I had ordered one from Amazon with one-day delivery. It was in my hands and plugged into an outlet on my dining room wall in less than 24 hours.
I chose a Kidde Gas & Carbon Monoxide Alarm (model KN-COEG-3) that costs $40.99 from Amazon, but prices are subject to change.
This is not an item I was sent for review. I bought this with my own money and think everyone should get one.
The alarm needs electrical power to work, but it also includes a 9-volt battery that will keep it working during a brief power outage.
A digital display shows you the current carbon monoxide reading, which is updated every 15 seconds.
The alarm will sound before carbon monoxide or gas levels get high enough to cause you harm or explode. The alarm is an 85-decibel siren.
The sensors in the alarm are good for seven years of continuous operation. After that, the unit will beep to indicate that it’s time for a replacement.
Do yourself a favor and upgrade your carbon monoxide alarm to a model that can detect gas as well. They are a little more expensive but well worth the extra cost to protect your family.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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