When André and Mariale bought their home in Blue Ash, OH, they set up André’s office and their one-year-old son Alex’s playroom in the basement.
“We are first-time homeowners,“ André says. ”We just moved to this house about six months ago, so we're getting used to the house. It's old, from late 70s, early 80s. The basement's usually very cold, and the way that we heat it up is we use a [gas] fireplace.“
One day, Mariale’s parents were visiting, the family just finished lunch and put Alex down for a nap upstairs. André was working downstairs, and suddenly, the carbon monoxide detector went off and triggered their Ring Alarm. André and Mariale didn't know what to do, but before they could panic, in less than a minute, they got a call from Ring Monitoring Center1.
“When Ring called, they were in control of the situation. The first thing they said was, ‘Is everybody okay? Get out of the house. The fire department is on their way,’” André recalls. “I didn't know how serious a CO leak was. They did.”
“I was more stressed than him, because when he said, ‘So they just called, the fire department is coming and it's the CO alarm,' I remembered reading about silent death and how dangerous it is, and I'm like, 'It's serious,'” Mariale adds.
The couple quickly gathered everyone and rushed outside to safety.
“I just ran upstairs, got the baby from the crib, told my parents, ‘We need to leave the house now,’ got the dog, and waited for the fire department to arrive,” Mariale recollects.
Thankfully, they didn’t need to wait outside for long, as the fire department arrived quickly.
When firefighters checked for carbon monoxide, they discovered dangerously high levels of the poisonous gas throughout the house — even upstairs where Alex was napping earlier. They determined that the gas fireplace in the basement was the source.
“The most scary part is that the basement is where I work from home, and that's where the baby plays most of the time. So that was where we could have had something worse happen,” André says.
“It was scary, but at the same time, we were glad that we had the alarms and that everything worked perfectly,” Mariale adds.
The firefighters ventilated the house until it was safe for the family to return, and told them to get the fireplace fixed before using it again.
“We were very thankful that we had the Ring system, that they called the fire department for us,” André recounts. “I felt good when the firefighter came and said, ‘Good job installing those alarms. I hope that everybody is as prepared as you.’”
In hindsight, both André and Mariale say that if not for Ring Alarm, they may have not taken the situation seriously enough.
“If Ring had not called the fire department, we might have thought it was just a false alarm and let it go. And that's a scary thought,” Mariale says. “This is very serious. We could've died.”
Be Prepared Like André and Mariale
While both André and Mariale were aware of carbon monoxide, they never imagined they would experience it themselves.
“I knew about carbon monoxide, but I didn't know how dangerous it was,” André says. “There's that part of you that says, 'It's just never going to happen to me,' and it does,” adds Mariale.
Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas created when fuels burn incompletely, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In homes, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide — like a gas fireplace. That’s why installing CO alarms throughout the home is an important step in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning. And with Ring Alarm, you can add extra layer of protection for your home and family, like André and Mariale did.
“We feel safe, and we know the system works. And if something goes wrong, we're gonna know,” Mariale says.
You can connect your Ring Alarm to the First Alert Z-Wave Plus Smoke/CO Alarm, or to a Ring Smoke and CO Listener placed next to your existing smoke and carbon monoxide detector. When the alarm sounds its siren, you’ll get a real-time notification on the Ring App. If you subscribe to Ring Protect Pro and enable 24/7 professional monitoring, Ring Monitoring Center will also get an alert and request the dispatch of the fire department to your home as well as call your emergency contacts to make sure you are OK, urge you to evacuate and let you know that help is on the way.
Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips
To help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home, follow these helpful tips from the National Fire Protection Association.
- Install CO alarms in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home, as well as in all sleeping rooms and guest rooms with fuel-burning appliances, and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes, or standards.
- For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home, so when one sounds, they all sound.
- Test CO alarms at least once a month, and replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Call for help and stay there until help arrives.
Get Peace of Mind With Ring Alarm
A Ring Alarm Security System can help protect your family and your home in any situation — from a break-in to a CO poisoning, to a fire emergency, even flooding or freezing temperatures. Whether you live in a small space or a large house, you can find a security kit that fits your needs. And you can easily customize your system by adding more sensors and security devices. Plus, for around-the-clock emergency support, you can enroll in 24/7 professional monitoring with a Ring Protect Pro subscription.
To get started building your whole-home Ring security system, call the Ring Security Experts for a free consultation at 1-800-800-RING. For help installing your Ring devices, check out our guides, or connect with one of our trusted professional installers.
1Compatible Ring subscription required. Sold separately. For Ring Alarm license numbers, visit: ring.com/licenses.