Brandon Barton's Wordpress Blog

Enjoying Semi-Retirement by Keeping Up With the Kids Online.

Recommended post: Smoke Detector Technology by Sank

Tired this morning.

Was up last night playing the battery shell game with our smoke detectors. Not my favorite after midnight activity to be honest. We had windows installed in the house about a year ago. When they installed the windows they also installed smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Lots of them. One in every room and in every hall.

Apparently that’s the “code”.

Code shmode. Prior to the windows we didn’t have any smoke detectors anywhere. We did have a couple CO2 detectors. Not sure they were plugged in.

When we bought the house in 1995 there were several smoke detectors that came with it. They were actually hardwired into the ceilings. Means you don’t have to change the batteries apparently.

Funny thing about smoke detectors, they sound alarms when the batteries die. Or, when the sensor goes bad. Or when some random time comes up on the “check the alarm” randomizer chipset that makes even hard wired detectors chirp away after midnight for no reason. That chip BTW, works with an ambient light sensor that allows random chirping only when the light sensor detects total darkness.

You’d think they could come up with a “Battery is dying chirp that’s different from the “house is on fire” chirp. My stupid phone 6300 different chirps and alarms and it’s way smaller than a smoke detector. Come on clever folks.. this is a serious issue.

I would bet anyone that the vast majority of Americans, when woken up by the scream of a smoke detector, do not automatically activate the home evacuation plan and get outside. I bet, like me, they sit up and bed and think “what the fuck is wrong with the damned smoke detector?” I’d even suggest that they, like me, would probably walk through a cloud of smoke and rip the detector off the wall to shut it up and go back to bed before they’d even notice the downstairs was on fire.

That, by the way, is why until last year, we didn’t have any. We had spots on the ceiling where they were mounted at one time. But years ago, rousted the middle of the night, I knocked them down with a tennis racquet. Side note, only thing I ever used that racquet for.

The other reason we don’t have any left is because the ONLY time I’ve ever heard one go off during the day, is when Mrs S uses the stove or the oven. And then they all go off so…  I think uses smoke detectors as a kitchen timer to be honest.

So last night, 2:00am, chirp. Chirp. CHIRP. Thought it was the carbon monoxide detector. Slightly more concerning as if I am going to die here tonight, there’s a chance I wouldn’t even know.

That being said, I can totally picture stepping over the dog, lying dead in the hallway, to hit the CO2 deal with a tennis racquet, and then going back to bed.

So there we are, Mrs S and I, standing in the hallway in our PJ’s, baggy eyes and all, trying to figure which of the three detectors in our immediate vicinity was making the chirp. You know what, those things might have motion detectors in them too. Because the ONLY time it chirped is when I turned my back to head back to bed. Seriously. 15 minutes of “I think it was this one” and “Nope it came from over here”. Sheeit I’m not my best at 2:00am.. Just freaking CHRIP…

Screw it, I took them all off the wall and disconnected the batteries. “We’ll deal with it in the morning.” “But Sank, what if it really is carbon monoxide? Aren’t you worried?” She has more to live for than I do. “Open the windows if you’re worried and don’t cook anythng.” I kicked the dog fast asleep at the foot of the bed, he groaned and rolled over. “Dog’s still alive, we’re fine”.

Filed under: Life


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