Don’t rely on your nose; get detectors

Published 9:45 pm Friday, April 21, 2017

I have always prided myself in having an acute sense of smell. It has been kind of like having a super power because my nose can detect odors that others never notice.

That is until recently.

Last Friday, I invited all my little grandchildren to the house so we could dye Easter eggs. The minute my middle daughter arrived at the back door with her two children in tow, she commented that she smelled gas.

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I assured her that it was probably the eggs that I had boiled the night before. You know how they can sometimes give off a gassy odor! She insisted that it was not eggs she smelled, but I aired her off anyway because I am the one with the dazzling nose talent.

Later in the afternoon, when all the eggs were colored and the kids had eaten their picnic lunch, my oldest daughter arrived to pick up her two sons.

Like her sister, when she walked into the kitchen, she commented that something smelled funny. And like her sister, she concluded that the odor smelled like gas.

It was then that I remembered that I, too, had noticed an unusual smell in the house after retuning home from a weekend trip to Chicago. I had asked hubby what he cooked while I was gone, and he assured me it had been nothing out of the ordinary.

I took his answer with a grain of salt and figured he did slip some type of wild game into the house, but I was not up for a confrontation and dropped it.

However, after the combination of both my daughters’ comments and my nosiness into hubby’s cuisine, I started to wonder if maybe there was really a gas leak in the house.

I called the water and gas company to report my suspicions, and in a matter of minutes, a crew was at my door. I took them directly to my gas hot water heater thinking it could be the culprit.

Using some kind of gas detection device, one of the crewmen held the piece of equipment close to the tank but found nothing.

I was feeling a bit relieved since this was the only place that I assumed gas would be seeping, but then they asked about other gas sources in the house.

Fortunately, there were no leaks with either of my fireplaces or with my stove, but when they opened the door to my heater closet, the device started brashly beeping.

A city worker then sprayed some soapy water onto the gas line coming into the house, and bubbles started oozing out, a gas leak. They immediately shut off the main gas line to my house and instructed me to call a plumber.

The fix was minor.

Apparently, when I had my heater serviced in February, the workmen failed to tighten the fitting.

I was dumbfounded!

Gas could have been leaking out into my house for months. This could have been the reason my dog has been sick and my eyes burned every night.

My so-called prowess had not picked up on the odor because, more than likely, my nose had become accustomed to the smell.

Thank goodness my daughters came over. Thank goodness for the speedy response from the gas department, and thank goodness for my plumber.

All is good now even though my nose let me down. And for those of us who may think you have an exceptional olfactory receptor, it is not enough. Carbon monoxide detectors are imperative.

I have one in my home, but I was informed that they needed to be installed on all levels. I guess I better just rely on using my nose for news!
Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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