Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Haunted Smoke Detector

Ugh. We got woken up this morning at 3:00am!

No, Junior didn't wake us up.

No, we didn't get a frantic call from a drunken friend.

No, a dog didn't bark to be let outside to pee.

Our smoke detector went off. Slowly. First one "chirp", then silence. This, of course woke my light-sleeping ass up right away. I thought I had imagined it and drifted back off. Then another "chiiiiiiiirp", a bit longer this time. I realized what it was and jumped out of bed.

What to do?

I stared at the smoke detector. It wasn't talking.

Hmmmm..... I scratched my head and got back into bed.

"Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirp....chirp......chirp", it said.

Now both Hubbie and I jumped out of bed to stare at the smoke detector. It was silent. He got a chair out and stood on it to get a closer look at the offending plastic gadget. I went downstairs to investigate. Computers smoking? Nope. Oven off? Yep. Cars on fire? Nope. Heater smoking? Nope.

Baffled, I went back upstairs and got back into bed.

"Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirp! Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirp!" "Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirp!" Now it wasn't quitting.

Oh, our ears. Oh no! Goofy Junior might wake up! Oh crap!

Hubbie ran downstairs to go for the breaker. It's one of those smoke detectors that doesn't have a battery - it's hooked into our electric system, not a great feature at this point.

I got on the chair and held my ears while I inspected the devilish thing. I hit it several times (my standby solution to things that don't work right), to no avail, then tried pressing on various points, thinking maybe something had come loose. About that same time, it went off.

Whew! Hubbie got the breaker switched. My ears were ringing. Luckily, Junior was still sawing logs. Unbelievable, since all this happened right outside his door!

We left the damn thing hanging from the ceiling and went back to bed. In the morning, I found out that Hubbie had not switched the breaker...there is no breaker for it! How the hell do we switch it off!?!?!?

So I'm hoping we won't have a repeat performance at 3:00am this morning. Or Saturday morning. Or Sunday morning.


Cagey said...

Once when we were staying in our townhouse in Virginia, the smoke detector decided it had tired of its current battery and started that chirping nonsense. The smoke detector in the hallway. VAULTED CEILING hallway - completely unreachable by a "normal" 6 foot-ish ladder. It was the longest trip ever and definitely put a damper on our stay.

pharmgirl said...

Man, this SAME thing happened to us when our daughter was a baby. It is hard-wired but does have back-up battteries too. We changed the batteries to no avail. We actually called the fire dept. because we were had just built the house and didn't know if they detected carbon monoxide (they don't). Why do they go off at 3 a.m.? We really did think the damn house was haunted!