Saturday, February 07, 2015

Why Me?

Has it been about two weeks since THE Blizzard of 2015?  I think so.  As if getting 31 inches of snow within 36 hours isn't punishment enough, we had a surprise just to get us in the correct ihatelife mindset.  You see, the morning before the BIG blizzard, at approximately 6:15, the smoke alarms went off at our house.  Up I jumped, made sure R was awake, headed toward A's room but met her in the hallway.  Down the stairs with those two following, checking for actual smoke or fire as I went.  Opened Mom's door and she was out of bed.  A quick check of her end of the house, then headed down cellar.  All was fine.  I shut off the breaker that powers the electric aspect of the alarms.  Of course they keep on screeching.  We determined that it was the detector in Mom's den causing the problem.  The most difficult detector to get to. It's about 14 feet up on a cathedral ceiling.  Why not.  Hauled myself down to the cellar, once again, to retrieve the BIG ladder.  Up through the bulkhead into the dark and cold and on to the deck.  Mom stood in her den, inside where it was nice and warm (albeit very noisy) and stared at me as I motioned for her to unlock and open the door.  She stared some more...and more.  Just before I was going to slam the very heavy ladder to the deck, she decided that I might be wanting her to open the door.  Finally!

Set the ladder up after moving the sofa so that it would fit.  R suffers the least (maybe) from vertigo than the rest of us...or at least he inherited the 'climb the big ladder' since he's the only man in the house.  After unhooking the detector and removing the battery........silence.

After 7 a.m. I left a phone message for our electrician.  He came later in the morning, replaced the battery with a new one, tested the unit and went up the ladder to hook it all up again.  He chatted for a few minutes while I went to the cellar to flip the breaker back on.  Silence....YAY!  He packed up and headed out.  I don't think he could of made it far past the end of our street when...

The alarm went off again.  R went back up the ladder (he has no idea how much I appreciate that he will do it) and took the detector down, removed battery, then silence.  I called the electrician on his cell phone and told him what happened.  We agreed that we could leave the rest of the system activated and after THE blizzard he would come back to troubleshoot.

THE blizzard was followed by the SECOND snow storm.  I decided to wait for better weather to tackle the smoke detector problem. 

Now we are expecting a MAJOR snow event.  At 6 a.m. this morning we were rudely awakened by the smoke detectors going off - again.  So the now usual routine was followed with me checking on everyone and checking all areas of the house and cellar before flipping the breaker.  R discovered that the alarm in our bedroom was the culprit and he took it down and took the battery out...silence.

At about 8 a.m. we headed for the local hardware store to by enough new batteries for all the detectors.  $30 worth.  We got home and after breakfast and a few other things, installed new batteries in all detectors...silence.  Great!  That was at 11 a.m.

1 p.m. all the alarms went off.  I was out shoveling, widening the drive in anticipation of needing more room for more snow to come.  I could hear the screeching outside.  By the time I got to the door (and was greeted by Mom), R had pulled down the bedroom alarm and deactivated...silence.

I left a message for our electrician that after the weekend and after this next MAJOR snow event, we needed him at the house.  Sounds like the 10 year life detectors that he had installed 1.5 years ago may have spent more than 8 years on a shelf at the suppliers - or something.

Meanwhile, just in case another decides to screech, I have bought 3 battery only detectors, one for each level of the house.  If another combo electric and battery one fails, we'll disconnect them all and go the battery only route until the electrician can get here.

Really.  Isn't over 45 inches of snow with up to another 20 inches anticipated enough to deal with?  Why do the smoke detectors have to compete for attention?

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