Sunday, October 28, 2007

Why I will one day be DEAF

Smoke detectors are loud. Well, VERY loud and VERY shrill. Of course I highly approve of smoke alarms that can wake you up and save your life when there is actually a fire. In fact, I sleep more soundly knowing they are there.

However, it is not very useful when they go off every few days. The past few months it has mostly been when someone is cooking, although contrary to popular belief the boys I live with actually can cook and aren't creating lots of smoke. Often there is no visible smoke or reason to suspect that smoke is being created. Sometimes, there is merely steam leaving a pot of boiling water. I suspected that it was due to crap that had fallen under (or on) the burners and henceforth burned when the burner was used, so after thoroughly cleaning the stove and finding these pieces severely damaged I bought new ones and "installed" them.

One would think that the problem would now be solved, but it is not. Last year they went off every night around 4AM for about a week when the entire house had been asleep. Creepy? yes. Useful? no. I'm not sure they would have left the house by the end of the week even if had been a real fire, they were so used to waking up and just waiting for the to shut off since nothing but unplugging them seemed to help.

I'm not sure if it's faulty wiring, ultra sensitivity, or complete randomness, but it's pretty damn annoying and loud. I know the house is old, but how can that affect smoke alarms that are younger than any of the occupants? I am starting to feel less safe, knowing that we are more likely to assume the beeping is for nothing than actually for something. Perhaps we are all turning into the stupid college kids we never quite were...

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