Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning

Ingrid told me a story. She holds with the majority view that telephone sales people should be made to run around dripping wet wearing only a towel to see how they like it. One day though a chap phoned trying to sell a combined electric and gas supply package and Ingrid positively welcomed the call. She was enthusiastic. She would be delighted to take advantage of the offer. By Ingrid's account the man handled the unexpected situation well. He remembered his training and kept on extolling the virtues as he completed the draft contract. It all fell apart at the address stage though. Ingrid lived in an old half timbered cottage with green wellies in the porch and a big red Aga in the kitchen. "Aah, I'm afraid we can't offer piped gas to your location," said the salesman, "your  house is too rural." "I know," said Ingrid, "why didn't you?" Then she put the phone down.

There's no piped gas in Culebrón either. Piped gas in Spain is generally only available in relatively large towns. We make do with gas bottles. We buy the lighter, Cepsa branded aluminium bottles from the shop at the bodega in Pinoso though we also have a couple of the heavier steel Repsol bottles. We could have the bottles delivered but we're not that organised.

Gas kills lots of people in Spain. Often people cobble together ingenious but lethal heaters that explode and demolish the building around them. Sometimes death comes more quietly in the form of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The legislation says that you should have your gas system and appliances checked at installation and every five years after that. Sensible legislation in my opinion. We had it done five years ago. We had it done again today. So now, if the grim reaper comes to call we can be pretty sure that it won't be in the form of flesh tearing shards of sharpened metal or the lack of oxygenated blood.

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