During the upcoming three-day Yamim Tovim, when stoves cannot be turned off from Wednesday night until after Shabbos, carbon monoxide poisoning is a real danger.
Hamodia excerpts this letter from a reader who, thankfully, did not experience tragedy:
“This past Shabbos morning I was awakened by the sound of the carbon monoxide alarm. We immediately cleared everyone out of the house and summoned the fire department.
The firefighters who responded found high levels of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and potentially deadly gas. “The buildup of these dangerous fumes was … due to … the lack of adequate ventilation. The continual burning of the gas range and oven — even on a low flame will over time emit unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide.”
The Orthodox Union’s Safe Homes, Shuls, and Schools advises that if you leave a stovetop burner lit, leave a window open near it at least 4 inches, with a second window open at the opposite side of the house. This will allow some cross ventilation and a supply of fresh air. (Of course, take all necessary fire precautions as well.)
Everyone needs a working carbon monoxide detector. “I would not want to think what our Shabbos would have been like had we not had the alarm — especially since the gas travels upward and the levels upstairs where everyone was sleeping were much higher,” the writer stated.
Please remember that it is a mitzvah to guard your health.