Monday, September 10, 2012

Things That Go Boom In The Night

Joy has a really bad habit of waking me up in the middle of the night for silly reasons.  She had a bad dream (usually something silly like being chased by donuts), she's thirsty, her foot itches, she can't find her current favorite stuffed animal, etc.  I have gotten used to it and tell her to go to the bathroom and go back to bed figuring it's really that she just needs to use the bathroom and that's why she woke up in the first place.

Saturday night was not one of those nights.

I was woken up at 2:30 am by Hubby.  He was using the computer in the basement when he started smelling gas.  He checked all of the utilities in the basement trying to figure out what was leaking.  After a half hour of that, he gave up figuring it was all just in his head (or his nose...I couldn't resist).

He came upstairs to go to bed, but stopped off in the kitchen for a bedtime snack.  As he was standing in the kitchen, the smell got stronger.  He decided to investigate the garage.  He flipped on the light switch to the garage, opened the door from the house, and was assailed by a wall of propane fumes.  He immediately opened up the garage door to air it out, opened the windows and the doors in the house, and then woke me up wondering what we should do.

A 2:30 am Google search assured me that the risk of our dying was minimal.  If we left the windows open, with the bulk of the gas in the garage and not in the house, the likelihood of asphyxia was pretty slim.  The carbon monoxide detectors weren't going off so I felt safe that we weren't going to fall asleep and never wake up again.  And we didn't have any open flames, so we weren't going to be blown up.  I told Hubby to keep the windows open and come to bed.

When I woke up Sunday morning, I admit to feeling extremely relieved to hear the kids shrieking in the hallway and Hubby snoring next to me.  We had all made it through the night just fine.  I opened up the garage to air it out the rest of the way and left the windows and doors open to help get the last of the gas out of the house.

And then I posted about the incident on Facebook.

A friend of mine works for Consumers Energy.  He felt compelled to share what we SHOULD have done.  We SHOULD have called our utility company to come investigate the leak and then left the house.  We should NOT have investigated ourselves.  Apparently (and thank God I didn't know this until after the fact), all it would have taken to set off an explosion was a tiny little spark--a light being flipped on, the compressor on the refrigerator kicking on.  One tiny spark and our garage and/or house could have exploded.

I shudder just thinking about it.  The possibilities are very scary.

We have since established some hard fast rules to help ensure this never happens again.  When putting the grill away, ALWAYS turn off the tank.  When getting the soccer goal out from behind the grill, be sure to check the knobs on the grill when you're done to make sure you didn't accidentally turn them on.

All I can say is thank you Jesus for seeing us safely through the night.   

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