Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Sound of Silence: or, how HAL took over our smoke alarm system

At last, at last.

Over the past two nights our sleep has been disrupted by an intermitant high-pitched beep every minute. To say it was driving me a little crazy would be an understatement.

At first, we thought it was the battery in the battery powered smoke alarm at the top of the stairs. We had mains powered ones put in when the house was re-wired last year so we didn't think it could possibly be those.

Except that even after we dismantled the old battery smoke detector the noise continued. Not ALWAYS continuous, but near enough. We investigated the mains one. Nope. Couldn't suss it. It stopped, temporarily, again. Then last night it restarted again. Slightly hysterical by now, we discovered there was a back up battery slot inside the mains unit. Could we get into it? Could we heck.

Back in bed, still trying to drown out the incessant beeping, Cloudy Neil suggested if it was mains run, why not try the fuse box downstairs? I tried that whilst Neil tried again to take the battery out.

  • * Dying battery inside - it beeps

  • * No dying battery inside but mains switched on - it beeps

  • * No dying battery inside but mains switched off - IT STILL BLOODY WELL BEEPED!!!

  • Okay, that is a little HAL-esque for my liking. "I can't let you do that Lisa".

    I understand the logic: it's a smoke alarm, and yes I would quite like to not die, suffocating from smoke inhalation [notice that word inHALation? Co-incidence? I think not]. But really, it was like something from a nightmare: sleep-walking up ladders, Cloud would try everything to stop the noise, but still it continued.

    We bought a new battery. It has now stopped beeping. The sound of silence: bliss. Nerves a little frayed, and we're a little scared by our own smoke detection system. But at least we hope to get some better sleep tonight!

    1 comment:

    Rob said...

    Funnily (ha!) enough, the same thing happened to me on one of the occasions when I was on my own up at the Ballater flat, where we also have a mains smoke detector. Though IIRC that one did at least shut up when I tripped the circuit breaker.