This morning when I woke up, like every other morning, I thought I knew everything. But that was before I read an article in The New York Times about a new killer among us. This killer may strike anytime and anywhere, including my or your home. The killer is the new silent cutting-edge technology of keyless cars parked at many of our homes.
To date, thirty-seven people are dead in the US either because they thought their car would automatically shut off when they walked away with the key fob in their pocket or because even though the victim knew better, they inadvertently left their quiet motor running in their garage.
These killer cars can idle for 6 – 10 hours or more filling the victim’s home with deadly carbon monoxide.
During my 25 years as a police officer, I had unforgettable experiences in Lakewood and other parts of Pierce County with death investigations caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. The details of these death scenes are etched into my memory. While some individuals promote the idea that carbon monoxide is a peaceful and pleasant way to die, it is not. I have seen what carbon monoxide can do. It robs humans of oxygen for their brain and organs eventually, causing brain fade ultimately resulting in permanent brain damage or death.
The purpose of this Westside Story is to raise awareness, so readers of The Suburban Times have an opportunity to learn about this serious danger with simple solutions. For those who remain unaware, death or brain injury could sneak up on them. If you would like to learn more about this subject from a credible source rather than taking the word of a guy, like me, who simply has an opinion on each and every issue, click the following link which will take you to The New York Times.
Back in 2017, an unknown felonious human reject, using a slip-jiggle key, stole our 1992 Honda Accord EX out of the parking lot of World Market north of the Tacoma Mall. We purchased a 2017 replacement vehicle which happens to feature a keyless ignition. Until this morning, I had no idea I was living with a killer.
Get ready for what follows next in this Westside Story. You will only find this prudent and top caliber life and property saving information in The Suburban Times. Why? Because our intelligent publisher, Ben Sclair, is often two steps ahead of highly acclaimed newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, or The Wall Street Journal. Remember, if it were not for Ben Sclair and The Suburban Times, you might well miss learning the information that follows, thereby putting your entire family and pets at risk.
TIPS: Okay, this is the part of Westside Story where I give you the life saving, and property saving tips promised above. Ready for some unsolicited advice which forms a foundation for the life-saving information that follows?
My experience observing criminal behavior and the results of victimization has motivated me to adopt specific crime fighting and safety promoting actions. I do unique things most people do not do. The purpose of my action steps is to make it as difficult as possible for crime jockeys roaming around wishing to do us harm. If they are going to steal my stuff, I will make it so they have to work for it.
Most criminals evaluating a security profile like mine, will decide to victimize someone else who is a softer target. It is terrible to say, but I appreciate the service all the soft targets provide to their hard target neighbors. Soft targets do things like leave valuables in their cars as cheese to attract the rats. They fail to lock their vehicles, nor do they use their vehicle alarms. They leave spare keys inside their car. Soft targets do not lock their house doors or use their house alarms.
While there is no guarantee I will not be knocked over by a criminal, any neighbor who chooses to be a soft target helps me by being an attractive target, so the criminal victimizes them and leaves me, an unattractive target, alone. If everyone decided to target harden and make use of our US Constitution’s 2nd Amendment, there would be a dramatic drop in crime.
Tip #1. I store my vehicle in a locked garage that includes a burglar and fire alarm system.
Tip #2. Most people would think Tip #1 is the only action anyone would have to do to protect themselves. Not me. I go the extra mile to make it more difficult for the criminal. I take one more step by locking my car inside my garage or while parked in the driveway at my home. In addition, I set my car alarm inside my garage in addition to the garage alarm. Criminals do not expect their targets to achieve this level of target hardening, and they do not like to work their craft in my kind of environment.
Right now, I am in my den typing up this Westside Story. I cannot see my car. Some puke could be trying to steal my car as I type my column. If he or she breaks into my car, and I hear my alarm sound, I will investigate the suspicious circumstances while simultaneously capitalizing on my right as a free American to keep and bear arms.
For decades the primary benefit resulting from locking my car in the garage has been simply protecting my vehicle and its contents. My old habit now serves as a foundation for a new benefit. It is impossible to lock our new keyless car if the motor is still running in our garage.
SCIENCE BASED TIP: To prove my assertion above, I just completed a scientific experiment.
While most readers are not aware that I am qualified to conduct scientific tests, I am. Reason number one is my father-in-law was a poultry research scientist, which allowed me to get away with calling him the biggest birdbrain in Pierce County. Reason number two is the fact that I earned a solid D in high school physics.
My scientific quest dealt with the question, “What happens if I try to lock my keyless car with the motor running”?
Scholarly result #1: When I stepped out of the car with the key fob in my pocket, the vehicle made a beep, beep, beep sound to remind me the engine was still running.
Scholarly result #2: This is the life-saving part. When I tried to lock the car using the door handle pressure switch, the beep, beep, beep transitioned to a solid beeeeeeeeeeeep and refused to lock. When I pressed the lock button on the key fob the same sound occurred and the car refused to lock again tipping me off that the engine was still running. The fact that the car refuses to lock can tip off a knowledgeable owner of a modern keyless car that there is potential danger lurking in the garage.
If we ingrain the habit of always locking our car, especially when parking in the garage or carport, the practice will become what I call a positive setup. Locking the car guarantees the engine is no longer running saving us from injury or death by carbon monoxide.
ONE MORE TIP AT NO EXTRA CHARGE: Install a carbon monoxide detector in the house near your garage and how about a second carbon monoxide detector inside your bedroom? This is what I call “the belt and suspenders” approach to problem-solving.
Older drivers are especially at risk because like in my case, I have formed habits during my 60 years of driving. My first cars were designed with the key dangling from the dashboard. We turned our key to the left and pulled it out of the dash. The motor was off. I loved the style of the dashboard key and I have always disliked the steering column key and now the key fob. Sometimes the older ways were better than our new fangled ways. At least we did not die from carbon monoxide because we never left the motor running in the garage by accident. Besides, with the retrofitted cool custom twin glass pack mufflers, the car was not silent.
I could keep writing by adding information related to run-a-way keyless cars causing mayhem. These vehicles are not placed in park, nor has the emergency brake been set. This column is already too long, so the park / brake article will have to wait for another day.
Our government and car manufacturers are currently ineffectively working on some inexpensive solutions for these problems such as automatic engine shut off. Intelligent people do not need to depend on the government for most problem-solving. We can think for ourselves. Please lock your car and install a carbon monoxide detector.
Remember, you heard these valuable tips right here at The Suburban Times, a paper anyone with a desire to become omniscient like Publisher Ben Sclair will want to read.