Change your carbon monoxide detectors every five years.
Make sure you have two carbon monoxide detectors in your house. Even if it is a really small house.
Let's say you make the mistake of only having one detector. Let's say it somehow got to be 7 years old when you weren't looking. (maybe 8. It was purchased shortly after the birth of your first child, let's just say. And you can't believe that she is 8 either.)
Then, you will be sitting around one Winter Solstice morning at 7 am, opening your Solstice gifts (because you are flying elsewhere for Christmas and there is no way you are packing up a drum set.) Then, it will go off with the loudest noise known to man and will indicate, via a number that you don't really comprehend, that you have unacceptable levels of carbon monoxide in your house.
So, you will call the local fire station, thinking they'll say, "oh, don't worry. everything is fine. happens all the time." But what they will actually do is send a fire truck, an ambulance and a police car - all with lights flashing and sirens blaring (at 7 am) to eventually tell you that "oh, don't worry about it. everything is fine. happens all the time." You will have to explain to them the reason you have scattered wrapping paper and open presents all over the house three days before Christmas. You'll have to share that the reason for the 12 open wine bottles in your kitchen was a neighborhood Solstice party last night.
Who knew that after 5 years, a CO2 detector has accumulated so much of the stuff that it starts to think a normal amount is toxic? Not me. Who knew that you need 2 detectors just so you can have a back up reading if one goes wacky? not me.
But now I do.
And Santa may be bringing a pair of brand new matching detectors in our stockings this year, just maybe.