Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Beep in the Night!

One of the things that I will never understand is why things with batteries malfunction and make loud noises between the hours of two and four am. I swear, if I didn't know better, I would claim that it was a conspiracy!

The other night at 3:12 am, I hear an alarm go off.   I jolted awake! I thought that it was the smoke alarm in the hallway.  I literally leapt out of bed and ran from my room.   I went and grabbed Munchkin from his bed and had him in my arms in a split second from the sound of the alarm.  As I got to where the smoke detector was, I realized that it wasn't going off. 

I looked  up and the light was green and it wasn't blaring at me-it was some other fool alarm in the house.   I laid Munchkin back into his bed still asleep confident that we were not burning to the ground and went on a search.   I looked at the CO detectors and they were all green, but there was still a blaring beep coming from somewhere! 

One of the CO detectors, even though it showed green that there was no CO present, was blaring at me.  I unplugged it and it continued to blare at me.  I looked at it in my hands and swore at it.  Loudly.  I was trying to read the small print on the back of it that tells me what it wants.   Concentration at 3 am is barely functional at best.   Couple that with a blaring object in your hands, and well, I felt like I tried for 20 minutes to understand what the machine said.  

In small print, it tells you if it gives you four loud beeps every 15 seconds and is showing RED to call 911.   Well that wasn't it.  

If there is a "chirp" every 25 seconds it needs a new battery. Battery???  oh, yeah, I decided a battery back up was a good idea.   Only this was not "chirping" it was a siren blaring into my brain.  

In extra small print.  "Approximately 5 years after being put into service, the unit will alarm to let you know that it is time to be replaced"

Alarm.  That is more like it.  Ok, so 5 years ago at 3 am someone decided to plug in a CO detector for the first time???  Really, who does this at 3 am. 

So I am still looking at the thing in my hands, and I am trying to get the battery out, only you can't just remove batteries anymore, you actually need a screwdriver.   I figured it would be the same handy dandy screwdriver that I keep in the kitchen for changing toy batteries.   I go digging for it.  

Nope, that isn't even close to fitting.  This is a microscopic screw that is preventing me from shutting this thing off! 

So I trek outside to the garage, in the dark, hoping that a raccoon, fox or some other animal doesn't follow me into the garage to dig through tool boxes.  I finally find a screw driver and get the battery out and silence the alarm. 

By this time, I am wide awake, freezing and irritated-but I realize that I have averted disaster and solved a homeowner issue on my own in the middle of the night without calling anyone to rescue me. 

As irritated as I am, I solved the problem and fixed it and know that I can go to the store tomorrow and get a replacement unit, and now I know what the ALARM sounds like in the middle of the night.   I have also reassured myself that I will awake to an alarm in the night and be cognizant enough to grab Munchkin and get us out.   I calm my irritation and go back to bed content.   I also make a mental note that I should have a bigger variety of screwdrivers readily available in the house for the next thing that starts to go bonkers at an odd hour.