Southington, CT – A woman in Southington is thanking the fire department for saving her life when her carbon monoxide detector went off on Sunday.

Joanna Roberts-Brennan has lived in her home in Southington for 17 years. She changes the batteries on all of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly so when one started going off right before her grandson’s birthday party Sunday, she was confused.

She got out of the house and called the fire department. They did not find any of the gas, but it is routine on a carbon monoxide call to do a full house check. When they went into the basement, they made a dangerous discovery.

There was a narrow hole in the flue pipe of her furnace. The only the reason the gas was not seeping into her home was because there was enough of a draft in her basement.

“It was just a matter of time and it could have become a tragedy,”

Roberts-Brennan said. “I really could have possibly killed us without knowing it.”

The Southington fire department helped Roberts-Brennan temporarily fix the furnace and replace her detectors. She says she has learned her lesson not put off the routine checks and she credits the fire department with saving her life.

“I go down to that basement every day and I would have never noticed it,” Roberts-Brennan said.

Firefighters say her story is a reminder not only to get your furnace checked every year, but also to replace your carbon monoxide detector every 7 to 10 years. The reason Roberts-Brennan’s went off was not because of the issue in the basement, but because the carbon monoxide detector was past its lifespan.

“Just ask them to check because I would have never known that that was there,” Roberts-Brennan said.

The Southington Fire Department does check residences and perform home safety surveys. Anyone can request an inspection through the Community Risk Reduction program.