I kiss my children goodnight every night – long after they’ve gone to bed, before I call it a night. I check in on them and kiss them – sometimes just to hear them breathe. Just to see the rising and falling of their chests as they sleep soundly. I stand there and look at them, overwhelmed with thankfulness that they’re safe, they’re healthy, they’re mine – overwhelmed with love and the weight of the responsibility that we, my husband and I, are the people chosen to care for these tiny, beautiful, challenging, incredible gifts.
Sometimes when I can’t sleep, I check on them again – and again, just to make sure they’re okay. I want to make sure they’re sleeping soundly, safe in their beds, in our home – as they should be.
But then, one day recently, I was doing some reading had a serious reality check. I was confronted with the fact that my children weren’t as safe as they should be – in our home. In the one place where they should be safest, a silent, odorless, invisible danger existed that I wasn’t sure we were prepared to protect them them from.
What I had read was a survey recently conducted on behalf of Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. I read through the data and realized I was one of the 54 percent of homeowners who didn’t get their furnace tuned annually. The service would identify and repair a carbon monoxide leak or potential leak to keep my family from becoming a painful statistic related to carbon monoxide poisoning. I also learned that the Center for Disease Control has described carbon monoxide poisoning as a leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States, causing nearly 500 often preventable deaths annually.
Other survey highlights include::
- 66.5% don’t know if they would recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
- More than half of homeowners (53%) don’t know that the clothes dryer can be a source of carbon monoxide; 25.5% don’t know that the fireplace also can be a source
- More than half (54%) don’t know the best place in the home to install a carbon monoxide detector
- More than half (54%) also don’t get their furnace tuned annually, which can identify and repair a carbon monoxide leak or potential leak
- 41% say they never replace their carbon monoxide detector, or they aren’t sure how often it is replaced
- Most alarmingly, over one third of homeowners aren’t sure if they have a carbon monoxide detector in their homes
- 22.1% never test or don’t know how to test the detectors to be sure they are working
- 20.7% only replace the batteries every few years – or never at all
When I realized the gaps in my knowledge on protecting my family, I knew I needed to commit to proactively ensuring that my home was a safe place for my family by getting my heater and air conditioning serviced annually. Carbon monoxide emissions don’t just happen with older furnaces, even our new furnace could emit the deadly gas if it wasn’t installed correctly. An annual tune-up will ensure the furnace is working safely, and it will save money on utility bills, keep the warranty valid, and avoid unexpected breakdowns.
Thankfully, Service Experts is offering significant discounts on tune-ups through the winter, as well as special savings on equipment if it is time to replace the old HVAC system. Service Experts is one of North America’s largest heating and air conditioning service companies, with 90 locations serving approximately 2,000 homes and businesses, on average, each working day. They’ve been doing business in the Denver area for over 40 years, so I know they’re a team I can trust to ensure the job is done right.
Now, that I’ve checked all our carbon monoxide detectors and had the furnace serviced, when I go in to kiss my children goodnight, I know that they really are as safe and sound as I can make them.