Wednesday, May 26, 2010

smoke screen

  • number of smoke detectors in our home - 8
  • number of smoke detectors that went off, all at once, Monday afternoon - 7
  • number of times i wrongly guessed what our alarm code was when i was on the phone with the alarm company - 5
  • number of questions customer service had to ask to validate that i was who i said i was - 10
  • number of people i thought were on my emergency contact list with the alarm company, but aren't - 6
  • number of customer service agents i talked to, frantically trying to get the alarms off - 4
  • number of people at the alarm company who knew what to do* - 1
  • number of babies who slept through the auditory-damaging alarms - 1
  • minutes it took to turn the PIERCING sirens off - 30
  • trigger for alarms, per the alarm company - construction dust**, which acts like smoke when it gets into the smoke detector
*after being on the phone for 30 minutes, technical support finally told me to unscrew the detectors and take out the battery in each one.  duh.  why didn't i, or one of the 3 other people i spoke to, think of that first?  i was so panicked by the noise, i wasn't thinking straight.  what was their excuse?

**we've had a worker (as owen calls him) putting in new floors this week.  funny thing is, he's a smoker, and when the alarms went off, he told me he got really nervous that somehow he'd failed to put out his cigarette outside and now he was burning down the house. 


bekki said...

Oh Sarah I know how it is when something very loud is going off and you can't do anything about it. And it is worse when you have a sleeping baby or babies. At least your house was not on fire and you weren't trying to get kids out of the house while they are dead asleep.

I must laugh though that the worker thought he was burning your house down. What great motivation to stop smoking.

Sailor misses Owen and needs a play date soon.

Gray Family said...

that is soooo funny! Our fire alarm has done the same thing at 2:00 a.m.! and the children all slept through the whole thing! - It was all due to dust too and now Jeff has to go around and spray compressed air into the darn things to keep them from doing it again! I think it is totally funny that your "worker" thought it was his fault. Can't wait to see those floors!

kara jayne said...

this happened to us a couple of times before we learned about the dust. we now use the compressed air to blow out each of our detectors every 6 months when we change the batteries. we have been sleeping well ever since!!

Bea said...

we were staying in a friends house last year, and accidentally set off their "CO2 detector", which we didn't even know existed. the simple shutting of a hall closet dislodged it from its outlet, behind a stack of books. i took every smoke detector battery out--could not make the sound stop. finally called fire dept., who immediately knew what it was and evacuated me (the kids were already huddled on the back porch sofa to avoid broken eardrums) by picking me up under the arms (like a child). it was raining. they jumped into oxygen masks, suited up, and called for back up. sigh. at least i offered them pancakes and bacon when they finally figured out the "source" of the CO2.

AliceK[i]ND said...

We don't have any construction going on here, but this happened to us about 2 weeks ago... all but one of ours went off at the same time. We didn't call anyone, but Jay immediately pulled out the ladder and just ripped them all out of the ceiling.

-number of smoke detectors currently installed in our house: 1! Yikes!

I need to remind Jay to put them back in. :(

Jennifer said...

I'm sorry, but that is too funny. I should be more sympathetic, but I'm laughing too much. I cannot IMAGINE 30 minutes of 7 smoke alarms going off! The whole scene sounds like it was taken directly out of my life, which makes me very happy (not for you though--for me. Sorry.)

8 smoke alarms in your house? I'm impressed. Is that how many we're supposed to have? If so, I'm only 7 short.

The Brown Family said...

I'm glad I'm not the only that has happened to!

Jill said...

My house is a dust bowl from new floors and none of my alarms went off--hmmm I wonder if they are working? I'm so sorry Sarah--my blood pressure would have gone through the roof.

Aimee's Family Journal said...

I know that terror of a piercing noise that wont stop! I am so sorry that you had to sit there and try to deal with kids/worker/babies/noise/phone conversation/drama all at once. Wait. Isn't that what every day is like?

Good job Mrs. Amazing!

Sarah said...

I'm glad this is not abnormal. Sounds like it happens often.

My father in law is not the fire chief or anything, but we do have alarms near the door of each bedroom. Maybe out in the hallway would be sufficient. 8 is overkill.

Hilary said...

That's happened here . . . but we never thought about using compressed air. Great Tip!

In Dallas, our house was struck by lightning (or the tree outside . . . whatever . . . it was close . . .) and the alarm went off. It was about 6:00 am (who knows where Dave was) and I spent about an hour trying to get through to the alarm company who had no record of it going off. Finally I called our favorite jack-of-all-trades friend who told me to check for an alarm circuit breaker up in the attic. So I left the three screaming kids inside (or was I pregnant with #3?), climbed up into the attic (from the garage) grabbed the glaring bare bulb, precariously crawled among the rafters until I found a little switch. Voila. Silence.

Hilary said...

Actually, it was not a circuit breaker. It was the horn switch. Occasionally a strong vibration would set off the horn (unrelated to the alarm . . . the alarm would also set off the horn) and I'd have to climb up and turn it off.

Sarah said...

hilary, what in the world? i'd have had the jack of trades friend come over and do it!

Hilary said...

Maybe he did. My memory is a little sketchy. It's a better story if I did it. Also, I was calling on him ALL THE TIME (because Dave was gone ALL THE TIME) and this might have been one of the times he didn't offer to come over. We've got a great possum story to tell. Maybe I'll blog it later.

Church Fam said...

Sarah you are cracking me up. New floors sound so fun! I want to see.

erin said...

So wait, you have 8 alarms?! I must have gotten the slacker alarm installers the day my house was being out-fitted (maybe on a Friday).

Hilary said...

{grrrr} I'd be so angry. At least the baby slept. Phewsh!