July 30th, 2014 by Jan

Beep! Ring! Buzz.

I really like a quiet life. I think I am very sensitive to the noise of the world. I love Bowen Island for many reasons, one being, it’s quiet here. (Except for chainsaws and leaf blowers on weekends) NYC is my dream town for about 10 days, but the constant noise is the one big drawback.

Then, there are sounds that are meant to warn us of danger. Sounds that are meant to draw our attention. I know each time you hear a car alarm go off, you probably call the police right away. Oh, wait, no one never summons the police for car alarms. Car alarms just piss people off. So do barking dogs for the most part.

But smoke detectors — when they go off — we pay attention. The smoke detector in our house, tends to go off when I cook. Probably because I just set a pot holder on fire again. Knock wood we’ve never had a serious fire where we counted on the smoke detector to save our lives, but, like insurance, you gotta have it, just in case.

Once a year the smoke detector makes the beep beep sound and we change the batteries.

Unlike car alarms and barking dogs, we pay attention to the smoke alarm. Until…. this last week.

For some strange reason our smoke detector started going off at the oddest hours. And it wasn’t the beep beep of check the battery beep — it was the full on siren of a full on warning. Ken checked and changed the batteries. Still, the detector went off. When this would happened, just as we started to deal with it, it would stop. Hmmmmm.

Then the darn thing started going off in the afternoon, then again a few hours later, a few times around 2 a.m. Not everyday mind you, just sometimes. We checked it – nothing seemed wrong.

We started to ignore it as a minor annoyance.

Then once, I was standing right by the smoke detector when it went off. The sound didn’t come from it. WTF? Something else in the house that sounds a lot like a smoke detector going off, but isn’t a smoke detector going off, is going off!

Secretly I hoped it wouldn’t go off when some realtor is showing prospective buyers the house. That wouldn’t be a great selling point. ☺

We heard the screeching roar, again last night around 3:30 a.m. Ken and I both ignored it, rolled over and went back to sleep. Neither of us considered ourselves in danger.

So, what good is a warning if we ignore it? We decided we had to get to the bottom of it.

Ken went exploring.

We don’t go in the basement much. There is no reason, we live upstairs. But, Ken was on a mission. Sure enough, he found the culprit. There was an old detector sitting on the counter in the kitchen downstairs, blaring away. Mystery solved, but I see how easy it was for us to become used to, even comfortable with, a strange and loud, alarming noise.

Maybe now, we will go back to paying attention to the things that go bump in the night.

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