Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Smoke Detectors Are to Blame

Ims wejaosajl wtrj ajsefljo osjfml! whouuasn nsh mje ejehhhe shhoid!!

Oh sorry, I am a tad sleep deprived. The fingers weren't on the correct keys there for a moment. I need my sleep. I am not a good and loving person if I don't get my 7 hours of sleep, just ask HHBL. 7 hours of sleep=Happy Camper Debbie.

I did not get my 7 hours of beauty (cough, cough) sleep last night. I didn't get anywhere near that. It is going to be a long day today I am just warning you.

"So Deb why are you lacking sleep?" you are asking yourself. You were asking that right?

It is because my smoke detectors hate me that is why. They hate me, they hate HHBL, they hate the Fire Department.....oh maybe they love the Fire Department. Hmmmmmm

Let us go back in time to say 1 am, or as I like to think of it...THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING NIGHT!!! Back......back.....back.......

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. That's me, not snoring just getting the old beauty sleep. I am not "old" it is just the way you use that word so don't take it......never mind


Huh? Whaaaa? Is that the phone ringing? Why is it ringing at 1a? Our phone doesn't ring at 1a. Is something wrong with one of the girls?

Fumble, fumble to get the phone and to remember how to answer the phone at 1a and in the dark.

This is the alarm company. We have a report of your smoke alarm going off. What is your code please.

Smoke alarm? I don't hear anything. Code? Oh Crap, what is that code!!! (sorry I said crap. It might happen again just so that you know). OK, OK...don't use the distress code like you inadvertently did last time. That insures that you will get the Fire Department with lights flashing AND the Police Department with lights flashing and then you will have the neighbors and a big hullabaloo.

Code....code....code....the hamsters aren't turning very well in the cage here and time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking into the future (10 points for whoever knows what song that came from). I finally roll over and nudge HHBL, who does not move. Oh my gosh is he dead??? Do I have a dead HHBL as well as a smoke detector going off? Shake, shake, shake....HHBL!!!

Huh? Whaaaa?

The alarm company is on the phone! The smoke detector is going off! What is the code! Crap! (there I go again)

And because HHBL is all about numbers and can remember ANY number he has ever learned (one of the reasons that I married him...that and his cute butt. Sorry honey) he spits out the code number, I say it into the phone, give my name and we are done....or at least I think we might be done....but I might be wrong on that.

So, with portable phone still clutched in my hand we get up and out of bed and open the bedroom door and sure enough, the alarm is going off, we just couldn't hear it. That begs the question, if we can't hear the smoke detector if the bedroom door is closed are they doing us any good? That is a thought for another day.

So we go downstairs and I turn off the alarm. Heave a sigh of relief, although the panel tells me that there is a "smoke detector not ready" somewhere in the house. Crap (sorry).

I should at this point tell you that we have a house that is sort of "high tech" wired and that the smoke detectors are hard wired into the system and that the system checks them every few seconds to make sure that everything is OK. If it finds something that isn't OK (like smoke) then it triggers the alarm, calls the alarm company and shuts off the heating/cooling in the house. The whole idea sounded great when we were having the house built but sometimes it is just a big pain in the patookee.

Now back to our I silenced the alarm and we are walking around seeing if there is any smell of smoke, which there wasn't by the way, and the phone rings again. Only this time it our local police department.

Is this Mrs. ______. We have been contacted by the alarm company saying that you have a smoke detector going off. We just wanted to check on you and tell you that the fire department has been dispatched to your residence. You are OK? Call us if you need anything else.


So we zip upstairs to put on some clothing cuz I don't want to scare the Fire Department. I did forget to take care of my hair so it may have been a tad fright producing but no one mentioned it. Sure enough about 2 minutes later I see a lone car drive down to our cul de sac, park and someone get out. Hey! One car only? What is he going to do turn on the hose in the back and take care of things that way (that is if we had been on fire). OK, so I go out to greet Bill, who is one of the Fire Captains. He lives just a little ways away and was up anyways, having just been on another call, so he came right over to assess the situation and see if the rest of the big rigs are needed. We assured him that we didn't smell smoke, that we didn't see flames, that we thought it was a malfunction. So Bill canceled all the big stuff and went in to check everything out.

We looked at all the smoke detectors in the house. I had to first remember where they all were. Basement checked out. All the detectors on the first floor checked out. The detector in the upstairs hall and the master checked out. The detector in Shoe Queen's room was blinking but in a different pattern. Hmmmmmm. But it couldn't have been that one because if it had been tripped then the light would be a solid red. HHBL checks Cartoon Girl's old room and sure enough, that was the smoke detector that had been tripped. Well now we know which one was tripped but not why. We will have to have the system maintainance guys come over to look at it (and those guys are blog post worthy themselves, and not always in a good way). But we have to reset the system so that it doesn't go off again.

So Bill, HHBL and I traipse back to the main alarm panel and stare at it.Uhhhhhhhhhhh. We poke at the buttons, I input the code a bunch of times, punch more buttons. We just can't remember how to reset the system to make it stop reading, "Smoke detector not ready." Yes I KNOW it isn't ready you stupid thing. Just turn it off for the love of Pete. No dice. I hate, hate, hate looking like an idiot who doesn't know her house system. Technology is great, until it isn't. And it always seems that when it isn't it is pointing a big sign right above my head and the sign is blinging, "She is an idiot that doesn't know how the system works. Pity her." What to do, what to do......

REBOOT! Yes, the answer was to go to the basement, unhook the battery pack, wait a bit and reattach. Sucess!

Thanks Bill, appreciate you coming over on such sort notice. It has been nice to see you but if you don't mind we would like NOT to see you again anytime soon. Shake hands, exchange emails, check addresses for Christmas we didn't do that! We did shake hands though. He is out the door and gone, but not before uttering the words, "The alarm may trip again. If it does we may be able to not come back out if you can tell the alarm company when they call that you have are having trouble with a faulty detector. Maybe". Well crap.

So we traipse back upstairs and get back in bed........and we lay there and anticipate that the system is going to trip again. Any little blip or noise or anything and I am sure that we are going through the whole thing again.

So it was at least 2:45a before I fell asleep...and my alarm goes off at it was a short night. And therefore, if you read all the way to the end of this post you know why I am sleep deprived and am sucking down coffee like it is mother's milk to her (another 10 points if you know the movie that came from).

Oh, and Cartoon Girl's room. We have a house guest that was staying in that room last night....and he slept through the entire thing. Amazing.


  1. Hilarious! After reading this I'm sorta happy our smoke alarms are the old-fashioned battery-operated ones. You know, the ones who begin chirping every 5 minutes until you replace the old batteries. I know they work well because the one in the kitchen lets us now if the toaster is toasting too dark.

  2. We don't have the same kind of system but one night one of the smoke detectors kept going off. We discovered a spider was hanging out inside it and was messing with the wiring or something. We just took the batteries out and went back to bed.

  3. Hhhm, my cat was up around that time wanting someone to play fetch with time I'll send her to your place!

    Glad it was nothing TOO serious!


    How does one sleep through that anyways??

  4. This reminds me of the episode of Friends where Phoebe's smoke alarm kept going off. Hilarious.


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