Vampire alarm
Tuesday March 07th 2023, 10:51 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

You know how the beep beep beep makes you go spend way too much time looking for which smoke alarm it is that’s going off?

That sound was driving us nuts one day last week, but we could not find it and at the end of the day we had to give up and go to bed: I took off my ears. He wished he could.

And somehow in the morning all was silent. Huh.

Then this morning it was back; the only difference is there were more people here now for it to annoy.

Michelle started staking out smoke alarms, waiting for the sound to coincide with the flashing light that would nail the culprit. Won’t work, we told her; we did all that.

It somehow sounded to me like it was coming from the printer, which made no sense. I touched all kinds of plugged-in things to see if they felt too warm. Everything was fine.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

It might not end this time. It had to end.

It was somewhere in this room–we all decided that much.

Much deep cleaning behind stuff and much squelched frustration later, they found it. At least they hadn’t had to move the piano to get to it.

I did not believe that that could in any possible way be what it was, much less be the source. It was. I could not believe that thing was still in this house. It was.

In 2015 our 20-year-old carbon monoxide detector finally started screeching the alarm it was made for–five minutes after Joe Lerma turned off our furnace up on the roof and knocked on our door, white as a sheet, exclaiming, Are you guys okay?!

That furnace had been damaged by its installers and with the air intake filter now burned away, was pumping carbon monoxide down our air vents. No we were not okay, all we’d known was that it wasn’t working well so we’d called him to come inspect it. But we’d barely turned it on because it had just felt wrong somehow, so our exposure had been thankfully low.

That’s when we learned you’re supposed to replace those alarms every six years whether they seem to need it or not–they do. It’s not worth risking your life over. Given that we were hospitalized with CO poisoning at our old house in 1985, we’re a little antsy on the subject. How many people get hit with this twice?!

It is safe to say I am not fond of the alarms that failed us. I had no idea the one had been put down and fallen behind the speaker and had never left the house.

It has not been plugged in for eight years. Eight. Years.

And yet it went off from dawn till sometime in the middle of the night last week and it did it again today.

I disabled it, he assured me a few minutes ago.

That wasn’t good enough.

The electronics recycling is being picked up in the morning, I assured him.

And it is out there sitting in that bin and it is not coming back.

We’ve replaced the smoke and CO alarms we replaced after that one and its peers were supposedly thrown out the first time. 2028 (for when I go to check out the date later) we’ll need to do it again.

2 Comments so far
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Good grief, that’s crazy! How on earth did it summon the energy to beep after that long?

Comment by ccr in MA 03.08.23 @ 11:31 am

I guess the batteries were finally weak enough to send out the distress signal? Glad it was that and not a real leak. Building inspector said I didn’t need a smoke detector in my new studio. We put one in anyway. Multiple sewing machines, iron, lighting, things happen.

Comment by DebbieR 03.08.23 @ 2:42 pm

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