No. 272

Have you ever given any serious thought as to how and when you will die? If you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, let me be quick to extend my sincere apologies, because I don’t mean for this question to be painful. In reality, we live in a very dangerous world. Millions of people die each year from accidents, homicides, violence induced heart attacks and a whole host of other reasons.
Over the past few years I have attended more funerals than all the other years of my life combined. This is normal because people my age are dying. Other than the sorrow we feel for members of the family, especially if it’s our own family, if it’s a natural or non- violent death, we just hope and pray the deceased person is in a better place.
Here is my reason for sharing these thoughts with you. When I know, or know about, some person who dies a violent, tragic or premature death because of neglect or carelessness, it really grieves me. This means that a life has been cut short and this individual will never have the opportunity to develop their God given potential, to be a blessing to his or her family and to live a full and complete life.
A few days ago I received a very attractive press release kit from the public relations firm of Wheatley & Timmons, located in Chicago, Illinois. The key phrase in the release was “The Silent Killer.” Do you know or can you guess what they are referring to as “The Silent Killer?” If you said, carbon monoxide poisoning you would be right. As I read this release I was convicted that this is something that every person in America needs to know about and what steps they can take to avoid becoming a statistic. Believe me this is not hard if we are even a little bit careless.
Here are a couple of great examples that will illustrate what I am saying. “An elderly couple unwittingly leave their car running in their attached garage, then settle in on the sofa to watch their favorite Sunday evening TV show. Within a matter of minutes, they are unconscious...never to wake again.” “A mother kisses her children goodnight and tucks them in, unaware that a SILENT KILLER is quietly invading their bedrooms through the heating vents from a faulty water heater in the basement. She goes in to check on them sometime later and finds them not breathing...”
Here is the bottom line. Carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for more than 20,000 health related injuries and from 2100 to 6000 deaths each year. For this reason the Centers for Disease Control and the Journal of the American Medical Association list it as the number one cause of accidental poisoning death in the United States. Most of these deaths can be avoided with the use of a UL listed carbon monoxide alarm. However, they are currently installed in only 26% of U.S. households and the need for public education to prevent deaths continues.
FIRST ALERT, a leading manufacturer of safety devices for the home has introduced the first “Hands-Off” remote test carbon monoxide alarm. This unit is AC powered, has a digital display and can be operated using most household infrared remote control devices such as the remote control for the TV or VCR. The alarm will function if the power goes out, with a 9-volt backup feature; and the unit warns the battery is low with an audible chirp.
The product is available at a suggested retail price of $45 and is available in stores nationwide. While this is a little different topic than usual, if this information saves just one precious human life, it will be a good investment of our time. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)