At 3:10 this morning an ear-splitting screech ripped through my fitful slumber. Not the melancholy intermittent bleeps of dying batteries in smoke detectors, which many times before have punctuated the night time, but it was the full blown cry of imminent danger that had us bolt upright in bed, sniffing the air.
In unison my love and I said, "I don't smell anything. Do you?"
Bedclothes were kicked off and light switches fumbled for. Arthritic joints protested the sudden movements as we propelled ourselves out of bed, pulled on robes and slippers. I admit I did briefly consider donning jeans, sweater and socks but opted for speed instead.
The alarm emanated from the family room downstairs, the room with the woodstove which heats much of our house during the winter months, along with a gas furnace for backup. "But there's no fire in the stove tonight is there?" I asked my love as we thumped our way down the stairs."
"Nope. I let it go out because it's been so warm."
With no signs of smoke in the air whatsoever, job #1 was to silence the painful alarm. That done, we spent the next half hour checking the woodstove - stone cold; carbon monoxide detectors - reading "0"; and pilot lights - all functioning to spec. Being of a certain age when senses and memory are less than top drawer, we also checked in with each other several times. "Do you smell anything?" The answer was always the same, "No."
No fault found.But tell me, WHY do smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and probably all critical home alarm systems, always malfunction in the middle of the night?
Conclusion: Equipment error.
Resolutions: 1. go back to bed,
2. purchase new smoke detector later today.
|Seen in a shop window, St. John's, Antigua|
©2016 April Hoeller