A tale of five smoke detectors.

Once upon a time {a few nights ago}, the house was quiet and dark.  Cats were napping wherever cats nap, baby was snug in her sleep suit, and adults were tucked into bed and just entering a cycle of really good REM sleep.  At around 11:03 PM, all the smoke detectors started blaring.  Not chirping…blaring.  The adults sat straight up in bed, the cats probably scurried off to hide, and the baby kept right on sleeping.

No smoke or fire, thank God, and the detectors stopped blaring after around 15 seconds of deafening sound.  The adults (let’s call them Kevin and Amy to help the story flow better) were shaken, but curious.  What had happened?  They were debating red and green blinking lights and googling “smoke detector randomly went off” when it happened again.

The baby kept sleeping.

This happened a few more times before Amy convinced Kevin that they should just unhook the smoke detectors from the hard wiring in the wall and call it good for the night.  The sweet little baby just kept right on snoozing.

It took the adults a bit of time to fall back asleep; the blood was pumping through the veins after that wake up call.

I’m thankful – obviously – that there was not a fire and that it is a mystery as to why those stinking things went off at that particular time.  I’m also thankful that Kevin was home.  Kiki and I were once home alone with a chirping smoke detector and it nearly drove us batty (the battery was not the issue – I fed it a fresh battery and it kept right on chirping).  I’m thankful that Ava slept right through it and that it didn’t scare her.  {Isn’t it interesting that a baby hears sounds but doesn’t know what the sound is or what’s cause for alarm and what’s not?  A smoke detector or an electric toothbrush – she doesn’t know which is which or even what either is.}

Everyone has a smoke detector story – what’s yours?

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8 thoughts on “A tale of five smoke detectors.

  1. So mine is a carbon monoxide story… LOL! When Nate and I were newlyweds and living in an apartment, I woke up one night to the sound of our carbon monoxide alarm beeping. I was super nervous that we had a carbon monoxide leak; Nate kept on sleeping.
    “Just take out the batteries,” Nate said, when I woke him up.
    But I wasn’t sure if the alarm was trying to warn us, so I was terrified of just doing that. I’d never heard a carbon monoxide alarm before! (And our apartment was old and used a gas stove… So I wasn’t taking chances).
    So I called the fire department to just ask them, “Hmmmm, what does an alarm sound like if there’s actually carbon monoxide?”
    They weren’t taking any chances and said they’d send someone to check it out for me. (Meanwhile, Nate is still sleeping…).
    So I waited five minutes, and before I knew it, a fire truck was pulling up to the apartment building. I’m talking full sirens and full lights ablaze. Then three firemen – in full gear – came rushing out with meters. My first thought was, “Oh dear, this is kind of embarrassing now.”
    Sure enough, my alarm just needed batteries. I thanked the kind firemen. They left. Nate slept on…

  2. Whoa! I’ve never heard of them all going off at once like that! Scary! And that’s so crazy that Ava slept through it all. It surely would have added to the stress if it woke her up every time!

    Also, I’ve never thought about it, but it makes total sense about babies not knowing what sounds mean initially. I mean, a lot of kids don’t like high pitched noises or loud noises because it hurts their ears (our garage door is super loud and I remember Mallory HATING it when she was itty bitty). But other than that – until they see older kids or adults reacting to a sound, they don’t really know if it’s a sound to incite panic or not. So interesting!

  3. This happened at school the other day! And it obviously wasn’t a planned drill. The students weren’t sure which exit to use, the teachers weren’t sure which class to count (it happened between classes) and everyone kept asking each other, “Do YOU know what’s going on? ” I thought maybe it was a student prankster who pulled the alarm, but it turned out to be due to some frozen pipe that had thawed and burst or something. One of my students who likes to mess with me said, “The rumor I keep hearing is that YOU pulled it, Mrs. DeAngelis! ” He almost had me going for a second. . . ;-)

  4. Can I tell you a secret? I unhooked ours years ago, never to be hooked up again. The corgi is our new smoke detector, and much less prone to going off in the middle of the night.
    Some people swear it’s ghosts that set them off – it’s as good an explanation as any, really.
    Ava is a champ for sleeping through it! That’s impressive. I’m so glad you’re all okay!

  5. I don’t know if I would have been able to get back to sleep after all the smoke alarms went off! Ahh! That’s pretty scary! So glad nothing was wrong and that Ava kept on sleeping :)

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