Hub and I were up late on Saturday, going through his business paperwork so we could give our accountant the right numbers and finally file our taxes. I sorted in to piles of gas, supply and others while we finally started watching season 3 of Breaking Bad, which has been in our TiVo since last March. I kept saying to Hub, “you know, it’s really 11:30 right now…not 10:30” and so on, preparing for the arrival of Daylight Savings Time. I also mentioned in passing that we should change the battery in the smoke/carbon monoxide detector.
At around Midnight (really, 1am) as we were finishing up, the detector started to chirp. We both thought “how weird!!”, assuming that the batteries were dying right as we were supposed to change them. What an odd coincidence, right? So, Hub popped them out and changed them and secured the alarm back to the ceiling.
We knew they were fresh batteries. Hub rearranged them and shook the alarm a few times. He popped them out and blew inside the unit, ala the old Nintendo fixaroo.
Nothing. Well except for chirps.
Reading the inside of the unit for interpretation of the beeps, we were pretty sure that there wasn’t anything wrong. The beeps, 30 seconds apart, indicated a malfunction. I was starting to get antsy at this point. Our house is small--tiny really--and this is the only smoke alarm we’ve actively maintained over the years (I KNOW!!). It was clearly busted and there was no way I was sleeping without it. I called the 24 hour Walgreens to see if they might have one. They didn’t. Hub ran to the grocery store that is a few minutes from here. They didn’t have one either. He called and I dithered back and forth over whether he should go over to Wal-Mart. He went.
He was home just before 3am (the real 3 now, because we’d skipped the hour) with the exact model we’d already had. All he had to do was twist it in to the base and we were back in business. I was turning the TV off and shutting off the lights while Hub was still examining the instruction booklet. He asked when we’d installed the previous alarm, and I remembered—it was right after Bud was born.
It would seem that these alarms have a 7 year expiration date. And once they’ve been in use for 7 years, they will beep consecutively every 30 seconds, regardless of fresh batteries, or blowing in to their crevices, or any tricks you might have up your sleeve. Smoke detectors expire now! This was information I did not know! And I will definitely never forget. Our new alarm will expire when Bud is 14. Let that sink in: FOURTEEN!
So there is the story of how I was awake to actually ring in DST and skip an hour. Lessons Learned:
1. Mama cannot stay up until 3am anymore. Oh no, she cannot.
2. We should have (and will have) more than one working smoke detector
3. We now know that smoke detectors actually expire.
4. Someday, Bud will be FOURTEEN.
I’m not sure how long it will take me to recover from all of this information.