I’ve been sitting on a couple of crazily funny stories. Last night’s is the first up…
I was in process of baking some cookies for a friend when the smoke alarms, through the entire house, started blaring. The dogs were not amused, but I just thought it was that the oven needed to be cleaned. Then it happened again, and the same thought passed through my brain. Apparently, I really needed to clean the oven.
I left to bring the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to my friend’s house. The dogs were settled. All was well.
I came back. The pups were thrilled to see me. It was 8:45. I put my robe on and settled in to read a book. Stan was in Philly for work, so he called to catch up on the day’s events. We chatted for a while and then said our “I love yous,” and “Goodnights.” I went back to reading.
A 9:30 the smoke alarms started blaring through the entire house. Every floor. Every smoke alarm. Did I mention Stan was in Philly for work? They didn’t stop. So, I did what any reasonable person would do. I called 911. I told them what was going on. No flames. No smoke. Just screaming alarms. “The fire department is on their way, ma’am. Please meet them outside at a safe location.” I bundled up. Got the dogs on leashes. And have I mentioned that they’re not happy?
The fire truck was there soon enough. It came quietly up the street, lights on. No siren. Thank Goodness. Until they stopped and let the siren blast. My next door neighbors came out on both sides to check on me.
“Yep,” I answered. “Just smoke detectors blaring through the whole house,” I said with a laugh, trying hard to keep things light, and not think about if something was truly wrong in the house.
A few minutes later, the fire fighters came out of the house.
“We think you have a faulty smoke detector” was their official diagnosis. They told me we probably need to find an electrician to have them all replaced because the life of a smoke alarm is around 10 years. We’ve been in this house for 16 years. Yep, it’s time to replace.
They went on to say, “But we don’t know which one because they stopped going off as soon as we got to the kitchen.”
Damn. “They won’t go off again anytime soon. Will they?”
“We can’t guarantee that, ma’am. But this is how you look for that faulty dectector…”
They went on to tell me that I needed to look for the smoke alarm that had a red light instead of a green light, while they’re all going off. And then I can twist it a quarter turn to right and take it out.
And with that nugget of information they packed up their truck and drove away.
Damn! They could go off again. It could be at anytime. Day or night. With my luck it would be at three in the morning, before Stan got home. Speaking of him. I called him to keep him updated on the situation. He said, “There’s a circuit in the breaker box. They’re all tied together and labeled. ‘Smokes.'”
So I marched into the garage and looked for the breaker. I hit “test,” and that’s when it happened. They all went off. Every damn one of them. So, the dogs and I went from room to room. Sweeping each on for the offending dectector. I found it. In Claire’s room.
And then I destroyed it.
It gave me so much satisfaction to take a knife to the damn thing and put it out of its misery. But now I really need that electrician. Anyone?