Lessons learned: Alarms, police there to serve and protect

To the Editor:

This year our family has welcomed a new holiday tradition -- checking our carbon monoxide detectors and replacing their batteries.

Our detectors started beeping, to our annoyance, the evening after Thanksgiving. We had recently replaced the batteries so we thought they were probably defective and just wanted to stop the annoying sound. I thought we would get new ones the next day.

Happily, my husband called the Bexley police who suggested we leave the house while they call the fire department. They were at our home within minutes followed by the fire department who discovered toxic levels of carbon monoxide gas. They spent several hours using fans to rid our house of the gas after turning off our offending furnace.

We would likely not have survived the night in the house.

We write to share two lessons. When in doubt, consult the Bexley police on safety questions.

Holidays are busy times, but we are blessed with helpful professionals who are eager to prevent tragedy 24/7, even on the holidays.

Second, alarms are annoying, but they prevent tragedies.

We hope all our neighbors will learn from our experience and have working carbon monoxide detectors in place for their holidays. And say thanks to our police people when you see them out serving all of us.

Lee and Tom Szykowny