Sound the Alarms

It’s Tuesday and I’m joining the community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers.  My weekly slice of life posts put me in touch with a wonderful community of writers, and helps me better understand the struggles and successes of the student writers with whom I work.

Sound the Alarms

Beep beep

Mom, the smoke alarms are going off.  I don’t smell smoke so I think we need batteries.

Beep beep

I walked around the house attempting to determine which alarm in our house was the culprit.  As I stood at the top of the cellar stairs and listened in I instantly knew that the device in question was downstairs.  

I announced to my daughter that I was heading down to investigate and replace the battery to the smoke detector.  My daughter quickly replied “Check the carbon monoxide alarm too!”  I was convinced the noise was coming from the smoke detector so I readily dismissed her notion.  I dragged a chair over, read the warning signal chart only to discover that two beeps indicated a new alarm was needed.  Angrily I stomped up the stairs and proceeded to call around to area stores inquiring whether they carried my brand of alarm and would they still be open. Not looking forward to heading out in holiday traffic at 5:00 on a Monday afternoon, I knew the alternative was a lost night of sleep listening to the incessant beeping.

Forty-five minutes later I was back home with my alarm, pleased with myself that not only did I find a replacement but that it was free due to a generous ten year warranty. Running down the cellar stairs and anxious to be done with this unplanned distraction, I quickly plugged the new device into the ceiling mount and proceeded to place the chair back in the corner.  

Beep beep 

Maybe it needed a minute to reset. 

Beep beep

Another alarm sounded.  I proceeded up the stairs to read the directions, checking to see if there was a re-set button. The store manager insisted that installation would be as simple as plugging in the new device.  he also reassured me the device came with fresh batteries.  I read on while my daughter journeyed downstairs to see if she could shed some light on the issue.

Mom!  It’s not the smoke detector beeping.  It’s the carbon monoxide alarm! The message reads: Time for a new device!

Hmm…  You know I have a slight hearing loss! And I guess I have a listening problem too!  I should have heeded your advice when you suggested I check both devices.


The remains of the smoke alarm debacle

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