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.