The Curious Incident With The Smoke Alarm In The Night-time

Smoke_AlarmWe were rudely roused at 2am by what I thought to be a persistent and regular short blip on a referee’s whistle. With it being 2am I was unable to comprehend what the awful screechy noise piercing the night-time silence was until it had repeated several times and had begun feeling like Chinese Water Torture. Eventually I reached a level of consciousness that informed my slowly waking brain it was the smoke alarm letting us know the battery was dying.

I sleepily jabbed a hand out into the darkness without looking until it crashed into my second pillow slumped at the side of the bed. Heaving the pillow clumsily on top of my head, I went back to sleep in the baffled void below it.

In the morning Wil and I began to stir. I grunted something at him, he squeezed my hand. I made mention of the smoke alarm to which he swore and explained how he’d only been able to decipher if it was the smoke alarm at the top of the second flight of stairs or the alarm on the ceiling at the bottom of the first flight of stairs by standing between floors in the darkness and waiting for it to ‘bleep’.

“Only, when you’re fucking stood there like some sort of stark bollock naked demented half-dead in the middle of the night staring at one of two smoke alarms that have just woken you up – neither of them beep for what seems an eternity”

When he’d found the guilty bleeper he’d removed the battery and left the unit laying on the floor so as not to forget it was without its power source.

“It’s funny”, he went on, rubbing his right eye with the palm of his hand, “but being burnt to death by fire or killed by smoke inhalation in the middle of the night is not on the top of the list of things I worry about on a regular basis. But what the hell is it that once you remove that battery makes you go back to bed thinking – crap, NOW what if there is a fire?!”

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3 Comments »

  1. mrs hojo said

    A spare alarm stored in a box amid 20 other boxes drove me nuts for weeks. It feels like it is beeping nonstop until you stand there and wait….. and wait….. and wander off to do something else.

    I think it will be illegal to sell or rent out a house without a mains alarm from next year out here.

    What happends during a power cut, will the back up battery make it beep?????

    xc

    • Sarah said

      Yes it will. In case you hadn’t noticed the power cut…

      What I don’t understand is why they have to made of that plastic that is so attractive to nicotine and dust stains. Every house I’ve lived in (after my dad’s & uni halls) I’ve had to wash the smoke alarm casings when I moved in.

    • foxsden said

      Mains smoke alarms are a bit ironic aren’t they!

      Sarah – you’re bang on about that! Nicotine yellow smoke alarms are a right eyesore.

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