Night noises

The piercing scream of a smoke detector with a flat battery at 4am – there really can’t be anything much worse.

And why don’t the batteries ever go flat during the day, it’s always when you’re in your deepest hour of slumber.

You hear it back there in your mind but you’re not sure if it was real or part of a dream and then of course it doesn’t go off again straight away, it waits until you’re asleep again. Then you have to get out of bed and go and stand in the centre of the house and wait for it again to try and work out which one it is – they’re tricky little suckers to pin point. You think you know which one it is so you go and stand near it and wait but then it wasn’t that one at all. Of course I need a ladder to reach them as well and it’s not as if I keep one of them handy in the lounge room so that’s a trip out to the shed. It’s not just me that needs the ladder mind you, I need a ladder to get a glass out of the cupboard, the previous owner decided to wire them in nice and high so there’s no standing on a chair.

We had a hidden one once. We’d taken it down when we were painting and ‘someone’ put it up on top of a cupboard out of sight and we spent about an hour trying to find it – everyone was cranky and on edge about it. The whole house was awake because we had all the lights on going through all the rooms and that shrill noise always puts everyone on edge anyway. You usually end up wanting to smash them with a hammer.

The fire brigade run a campaign here each year about this time. They door knock when daylight savings starts reminding people to check their smoke alarms or install them if you don’t have any. I’m always surprised by the number of people who don’t have them. Such a simple, cheap annoying little thing that could save your life.



13 thoughts on “Night noises

  1. I had a smoke detector that would go off every time I fried something—burgers, chicken, bacon, you name it. I finally took the damn thing down and placed it as far from the kitchen as possible. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hear it from our bedrooms after that. I’ve thought since then that the manufacturers ought to be able to create a smoke detector that could distinguish between a house fire and dinner.

    • Yes, we had one that used to go off when we cooked (burnt) toast – I often had to jump up on the kitchen table and fan a magazine around to try and stop it.

    • That’s what I worry about as well because one day when no one was home we had a huge storm and power went and our house alarm spent a couple of hours making a similar constant beeping noise and by the time I managed to get home Betty and Chicken Little were traumatised. Now she gets really nervous when the smoke alarms go off and even if you leave the fridge door open too long and it starts beeping she tries to get outside away from it.

      • I’m also paranoid about a/c (which is why I’m in no rush to pay the gabillion $$ to install it). I had a western facing apt where the central a/c was on full time. One night I got home and the a/c had died – converting it to a heater. My apt was well over 100 degrees at night. If I’d had it pet, it would have killed it.

    • Remember when kids had those awful tamagotchi’s? Well one of those was awke in the house one night needing food or love or whatever and we couldn’t find it either – nearly drove me mad.

  2. Ours seem to always die around Thanksgiving or Christmas — typically on a night when you’ve eaten too much, drank too much and ALL you want is some uninterrupted sleep. They are evil.

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