Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's a Good Thing I'm not a Bomb Deactivater

Between getting stuff ready for Christmas and A.'s growth spurt (?), I have not been getting a lot of sleep lately. So you can imagine how thrilled I was this morning to hear that shrill staccato beep from the fire alarm letting me know the batteries were dying. They couldn't manage to hold on a little longer until, say, noon? It had to be right then--five minutes after Dave had left for work.

I lay in bed cursing the short lifespan of batteries and hoping that maybe I was just imagining loud noises. Then I heard it again and knew I had to get up. So I struggled out of bed, dragged over a chair, and took the alarm down and put it the dining room. The I snuggled back under my covers.

It happened again. This time I didn't bother cursing the batteries; I cursed myself for being dumb. I'm not sure why I thought just taking it off the ceiling would make it stop beeping. All I can say is that it was early.

If it weren't for the two sleeping kids, I might have put a pillow over my head and tried to ignore it, but that wasn't possible. Then again, if it weren't for them, I would be well-rested in the first place. I made myself get up one more time.

I blame them. 

I thought I could just pop out some batteries and be done with it, but it wasn't that kind of alarm. The directions said something about destroying (okay, maybe not destroy, but something along those lines) a cross-hatched section and that I would need a tool like a screwdriver. Really? It took me a while to figure out that "cross-hatched section" meant a tiny square with diagonal lines. Is it just me or when you read "hatched" you picture something like basket-weaved? And why could they just say diagonal lines? I peeled back the square and then used a butter knife to slide over some plastic to deactivate the thing.

Sleep would once again be mine. I collapsed onto my bed, but my feet weren't even warm yet when I heard another annoying beep. Ahhh. I might have thrown a small temper tantrum just then.

Back into the hallway I went and I saw another round thing with an affinity for loud beeps. I had "destroyed" our fire alarm for no reason and cut it's lifespan in half. It was supposed to last twelve years-not six. Oops. 

I took the carbon monoxide detector off the wall and read the instructions. They said if there were four beeps in a row and if it kept beeping, it meant there was carbon monoxide in the house, but if it just beeped every thirty seconds, the battery was low. Mine was beeping once a minute or couple minutes. What did that mean? I think they should make some that talk to you. "There's carbon monoxide in your home. Calmly but quickly exit your house and call 911." Or: "Please replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector, not your smoke detector." That would be more helpful than having to decipher what kind of beeps your hearing at o'dark thirty in the morning.

I was 99% sure that it was the batteries so I took them out and went back to bed. Then I lay there thinking about that one percent. What if it really was a carbon monoxide leak? I know it's odorless, but are there any symptoms? Maybe I should get up and google it. The detector said we'd have between 4-15 minutes to get out of the house. It's probably already been a couple minutes. I don't have much time left. How embarrassing would it be to call 911 and get everybody outside in their pajamas for a false alarm? Then again, what would it do to Dave if he came home and nobody was here anymore? And he would see both detectors on the kitchen counter and live the rest of his life knowing his wife's stupidity caused their entire demise. And on and on my thoughts went.

I had stopped the ear-piercing beeping, but I still couldn't find sleep. Yet, I'm happy to report we are all safe. . . we just have a couple things to replace. . .

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