DEAR ABBY: If this letter can save one person's life, it will be well worth it.
I was experiencing headaches for quite a long time, and my husband was sleeping in his chair quite a bit of the time. The day of our grandson's birthday last November, I could hardly think because my head hurt so bad. In spite of it, I drove to the party and started to feel better. I told our son about my headache, and he said he would check our furnace for us.
Because our furnace was quite new, we never gave it much thought. The automatic damper was shut, and the furnace was emitting carbon monoxide fumes!
Our beautiful kitty, Yvette, had died some time before, and we never knew why. However, she had slept in the furnace room.
I always opened the window at night, and we have a large home, so this is probably what saved us.
I hope you'll alert your readers to have their furnaces checked -- even if they're new. I cannot stress enough the importance of this. -- PATRICIA IN PORTLAND, ORE.
DEAR PATRICIA: Your letter gives new meaning to the phrase "wake up and smell the coffee." Carbon monoxide is a deadly killer, and every year the news reports deaths because of improperly vented heaters. Having one's furnace checked in the fall, before the cold weather hits, is a wise precaution. Since the winter season is now upon us, I hope my readers will heed this warning immediately.