The (Hopefully) Silent Intruder
  • The (Hopefully) Silent Intruder
I'm home sick today—let's not get too far into the details—and my landlord just stopped by to install a carbon monoxide detector in my apartment. The City of Seattle explains the rules behind the law:

Last month’s snow, ice and wind gave us a timely reminder about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning during winter power outages. Following our 2006 windstorm, 250 people were treated for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in the Puget Sound area and eight died, all from either burning charcoal briquettes inside their homes or from improper use of gasoline-powered generators.

In response to these tragedies, new state-wide codes will require CO alarms in most residential buildings, including single-family homes.

(For more information about the law, including information about single family homes and new rental units, go read the whole article.)

So: Welcome to my home, carbon monoxide detector! You're not quite as ugly as my smoke alarm, which is nice, but you got installed in such a way that you appear to be crooked, which I'm sure is going to bug the hell out of me for many months to come. I'm fine with this law, but I also note that I'm now responsible for changing the batteries, which seems like a serious problem with the law. I'm pretty good about changing the batteries in my smoke alarm (I try to follow the every-time-you-change-the-clocks-you-change-the-batteries rule, although I think I've skipped one or two now and then) but I don't think it's going to be a top priority in many of the lower income households where the carbon monoxide poisoning happened in the first place. But enough of my equivocating!