Thursday, 21 August 2008

No smoke, no fire

I was woken at 4.45 yesterday morning by two high pitched beeps. I knew instantly where they were coming from, but I buried my head under the bed clothes and hoped that it would not happen again. I did not want to be awake at 4.45 am - I had to work until 9.00 pm last night. I went back to sleep and was woken again at 6.45 am by two more high pitched bleeps. This time I got up and tried to silence the culprit, without any luck.

This has happened before and initially it was not obvious to me what it was. There are now so many gadgets in what was once two Victorian cottages, that it was difficult to know where to start looking for the culprit. How did the Victorans manage without all these gadgets? Quite easily, because they had not been invented. Could it be the computer - it often beeps if there is a power cut or if its' temperature gets too high. Could it be the burglar alarm - it's sometimes temperamental. Or is it something else? Could it be from outside? Is it coming from the neighbours? No, it was none of these. It was coming from one of the smoke alarms, which are wired into an electrical circuit and there was no smoke and no fire. So what was the problem? The smoke alarms have batteries in them which should be replaced every twelve months. The electrician probably told me this when he fitted the smoke alarms, but twelve months after the alarms were fitted we were gearing up for a builder to demolish the garage and semi gut the upstairs of the house. Changing batteries which were still working was not on our agenda at the time. I read the smoke alarm information leaflet, switched off the electricity as instructed and tried to take the cover off the amoke alarm to get the battery out. It wouldn't budge and after several attempts I thought that the whole thing was going to come off the ceiling. I phoned the electrician who told me to do what the information leaflet said but still the cover wouldn't come off. Eventually my husband realised that the smoke alarm didn't have a cover - it was in two pieces and you slide it apart. And there seems to be a knack to doing it, which I don't have. More than likely it is brute force and ignorance. Now, I just need that man with the knack or brute force and ignorance to sort out the problem.

12 comments:

Gill - That British Woman said...

this isn't as bad as your smoke alarm beeps, but we had a cricket that kept chirping in our basement last summer. Do you think we could find it....heck no...........we just had to let it die.

I hope you get those batteries changed soon for your own safety.

Gill

Gill

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

We occasionally have a similar problem with our smoke alarms - it would be a major task for me so thankfully have never had to deal with on my own. But why is it usually in the middle of the night?

A x

dottie said...

Yes indeed, always in the middle of the night when Hamish hears nothing except the call of nature! Our electricians put our wired-in alarms on the ceilings. The combination of high ceilings and being vertically challenged is not conducive to sorting out such a noise in the night. Yet there is always the thought that it might be For Real This Time. S*d it, Dottie. Go and get the ladder.

deb1712 said...

Why did you need to turn the electricity off? Do they run on electricity and batteries? seems a bit over the top! Your parties sounded great by the way.

Suburbia said...

That's happened to us. I't is aways at night isn't it?!
Once we couldn't stop our burglar alarm until husband demolished it out of desperation!

HER ON THE HILL said...

God, don't get me on the smoke alarms! It doesn't say in the leaflet that they're nocturnal creatures, does it, eh? I was kept awake for weeks once because the one on the landing was so crafty with its beeps: just a couple one night to wake me up, then silence for a couple of nights, then a few more surruptitious nocturnal beeps...and so it went on for days until I finally gave in and changed the ruddy batteries!!

imbeingheldhostage said...

We have a rule that when the time changes, so do the batteries. Doesn't help in a cottage where late-night fog sets the danged things off.

cheshire wife said...

Gill - the battery has now been changed, thank you for your concern.

Strawberry Jam Anne, Dottie,Suburbia & Her on the hill - yes the battery always starts to beep at night time and/or when husband is away.

Deb - yes, they run on electricity and a battery.

The Dotterel said...

Call the fire-bridage! Josie (http://sykesssillysite.blogspot.com/2008/08/id-parade.html) probably has a few to spare.

Gill - That British Woman said...

Just wanted to say I am now on Toronto time not on Vancouver time, it was something I kept meaning to do change the time setting on my blog, but it was something I was always forgetting to do, thanks for reminding me. There will be a five hour difference between us, meaning we are five hours behind you guys in England.

Gill from Canada

Akelamalu said...

This made me LOL because only last week we were woken by three beeps at 4 a.m., then 4.30 a.m., then 5 a.m. - you get the picture!

Thanks for visiting me and taking the time to comment, I hope you'll call again. :)

Liz said...

I tend to remove the battery when it starts to beep - which is always the middle of the night - and then forget about it for weeks. Thankfully no fires yet!