Monday, February 05, 2007

An Alarming Awakening

Around 4:00 this morning Dave and I were awoken by our alarms going off in the house. Every single one of them. We both sat straight up out of bed. I think the first thing I said was, “this is not good.”

When I was a kid we had a wood-burning stove and every once in a while it would catch the chimney on fire, so I knew the drill. I got up out of bed and put on socks and a warm sweater and even thought about grabbing my purse. I just knew we would be outside and our house could possibly burn to the ground. Dave thought it was an intruder, which is weird that he thought that because we do not set our alarm and we do not get it monitored, but he left the room immediately to check it out.

We’re such dummies, however. Did we feel the door with the back of our hand? Nope. Did we drop to the ground and crawl around in case it was a fire? Nope. Did we immediately call 911? Nope. Instead we searched the entire house for a fire. We turned up our sense of smell and hunted for smoke. We tried our carbon monoxide detector to make sure it was working. We tried to disarm the alarm, but that wouldn’t work. Finally we had to start calling people. Dave called the alarm people who said our alarm wasn’t going off, but told us we would have to disarm every smoke detector individually. I called my parents to see what we should do. I don’t think they were very happy that I woke them up.

We were not very happy that we would have to turn every smoke detector off individually. The back of our house is like a Cape Cod and our ceilings are 12 feet tall. We started with the ones we could reach. We turned off one and then went upstairs to start with the others. Dave pushed in the button and nothing happened. He tried another one and nothing happened. It was so loud and it had been going off for a ½ hour and we were so tired. All of a sudden, they just stopped.

We called the local fire department and funny enough it was my brother-in-law who was dispatching and picked up the phone. He asked us to check this and this and that and that—all of which we had done. He said sometimes it just goes off. We finally crawled in bed right before our alarms were to go off to get ready for work. We turned them off and slept in.

We’re still really paranoid about what could be wrong with our house. Any thoughts? I think we’re going to call my brother-in-law today on his day off and see if he’ll inspect the house. He might have some thoughts that we didn’t think of. It was a really scary evening and really exhausting. The good news is that we’re both still alive and our house is still standing.


Flatman said...

Batteries? Ours are connected to our house power, but when the back-up batteries get low, they all go off in unison. NOT good for the ole ticker...

Why do these things always happen in the middle of the night and not during the day???

Good luck tracing the problem...

Meredith said...

Usually when our batteries go bad, only that one alarm with beep until the batteries are replaced. Our smoke detectors are also wired through the electricity so if one goes off they all go off except when the battery is bad.

We talked to my brother-in-law this evening and he said there were several calls like ours at the fire house. Weird, huh?

Jason said...

Ours worked the same way as yours, Meredith (if one's battery was low, only that one would beep, and it was also a different-sounding -- and quieter -- beep). I mentioned your story to the wife, and she said that our almost identical incident also happened when it was extremely cold outside. That must have something to do with it.

By the way, today our doorbell went off even though there was no one there. I opened up the door and looked out, and it went off again! I thought maybe someone was there earlier and the bell button was frozen in place when it was pushed in, but it was in the correct place.

I do have another theory: YOUR HOUSE IS HAUNTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!