Tag Archives: fire alarm

wake up!

this morning, my alarm woke me up and i turned it off, as usual, and rolled back over to sleep for a few more blessed minutes. then there was a very short but loud buzz. i shut my eyes and sighed a very heavy sigh: it could only have come from the smoke detector. if there’s one thing that’ll get my sorry butt outta bed for its a faulty smoke detector. i thought the battery was going dead. the only other experience i have with a smoke detector was about six years ago in an apartment that also had vaulted ceilings and that ended with a chair, a broomstick, and a broken smoke detector. an important note to make here is that i am only five feet and four inches tall.
so i’ll have to deal with some loud beeps before i go to a neighbor for help with this as i don’t have a ladder. i’ll get the boys ready for school and take them to school and when i get back i’ll enlist some helping hands. we went about the morning eating breakfast and getting dressed and brushing teeth. we had to leave a little early this morning as it is picture day for my youngest son and theirs are first thing in the morning. we got ready among the beeps from the smoke detector growing longer and longer in duration. the boys covered their ears when appropriate. apparently talking to smoke detectors that you can’t reach doesn’t work. i tried making a deal with it. the dog tried barking at it and staring at it, but every time it went off, he went outside. this was the big dog too.
the detector began to sound but it didn’t stop. panic set my heart to “pound”. that sound is deafening. i didn’t want the neighbors to think that there was a fire. i paced back and forth saying aloud that i didn’t know what to do. can’t hear or think with that thing going. that’s why you’re supposed to make an escape plan: because it also turns your brain off. who could think to try to save any belongings? finally i ran to the neighbor’s house. i rang the doorbell and her dogs began to bark loudly. i could still hear the detector sounding loudly even from her doorstep. when she came to the door, shooing the dogs out of the way, i realized i caught her mid-makeup and hair as she was getting ready for work: wet hair in a towel and pajamas. she cracked open the door, smiling and said “good morning!”
i could hear my poor little voice shaking as i said, “kim, my fire alarm is going off! there’s no fire but i don’t know what to do to stop it!”
she said, “oh that’s what that sound is? i was thinking, ‘what the hell is that?’ i thought you were out in the backyard with a pair of power cutters or something or maybe you were buzzin’ the kids’ hair. okay. come on in. do you have a ladder?”
“no.” i followed her inside.
“okay. let me grab ours from the backyard. we’ve been painting back there.” she put her black and white pit bull mix named molly into her kennel and grabbed the ladder. she explained that their smoke detector acts up every time someone takes a shower in the downstairs bathroom and opens the door. she carried the ladder out the front door and we went into my garage and through the kitchen. when we got into the house, the buzz was positively deafening. it hit me that i hadn’t put my dogs away and they will wriggle their way out of the door and if they don’t get to do that, then they will excitedly jump and scratch. in my rush to lock them outside, i forgot to hold the door open for kim and the ladder. she joked that there was no way anyone would be able to sleep through the alarm. she asked me where it was.
“its at the top of the stairs!” i shouted over the sound. i followed her upstairs and watched as she set up the ladder. she reached up like a professional and twisted the front of it off, pulled the wire out of it and silence was restored.
“thank you so much!” i accidentally screamed.
“it was hard-wired to the house! i’ve never seen that before.”
“huh. me neither. i’ve just seen battery powered ones. this one looks really old. should i replace it?”
“absolutely! your alarm can never be too new, i always say.” then she noticed the boys downstairs through the cutout in the wall. “hiiiiii!” she smiled waved to them.
i thanked her again as she took down the ladder and i held the door for her this time as she carried it out. she said she would ask her husband about it later and if replacing it gave me any trouble to tell them and they would come help me with it.
who needs that much of an adrenaline rush before coffee????
another sigh of relief and one cup of coffee to go and the boys and i were off.
my son said asked who that was. i told him it was our neighbor kim from the blue house. he said it was a good thing she was there to help us. i agreed.
now it’s off to the hardware store to buy two replacement smoke detectors. you can believe that i don’t want to hear that noise again. at least i can reach the other detector.