Around 12:30pm today my smoke detectors started going off all over the house. There was no fire, but they wouldn’t shut off. For an hour they were screeching their life saving song without cease. For an hour my dogs barked, cried and shook involuntarily from the horrible noise that was hurting their ears and scarring the hell out of them. At one point, my little Mavis just let loose and started pooping everywhere. The noise literally scared the shit out of her.
It’s amazing what that kind of noise can do to you in an hour. My heart was racing, my blood pressure was up, and I had this weird anxiety that I couldn’t calm even though I knew my house wasn’t on fire. The noise was deafening, and grating, and it felt like it scrapped every fucking nerve in my body to the point of absolute insanity. For an hour.
I googled what to do when your smoke alarms malfunction like that. The internet said the most likely cause was dust in and around the censors. Most of the detectors in my house are about 18 feet up the wall because we have vaulted ceilings in the upstairs bedrooms. The only ladder we have is a ginormous beast of a thing that is difficult for me to carry and maneuver. I couldn’t get up there to take the detectors down, so I drug a step-ladder and my vacuum cleaner all over the house trying to suck the dust out of the detectors with the attachment wand. It didn’t work. I tried to call the non-emergency line for the fire department hoping they could send a guy out with a ladder to take them down for me. All I got was voicemail. Can you believe that? The fire department sends you to flippin’ voice mail if you don’t need to call 911! When the fire department failed me, I actually resorted to trying to beat the damn things off the wall with a broom handle. I had reached the breaking point and would have risked putting multiple holes in the walls to make that god-forsaken hell noise stop.
I finally texted my next door neighbor and begged for help. Thank God he was home. He was my knight in shining armor, and instead of a horse, he rode in with his bright and shining ladder. He took all the detectors down for me and we both enjoyed a moment of blissful quiet. When he left I was so happy I almost cried from the relief of it. It actually took a few hours before I started to feel the effects of the physical and mental stress dissipating.
So I want to send a world-wide thank you to my neighbor, Mike! Thanks for being home, thanks for having a ladder, thanks for saving my sanity, and thanks for being such a great neighbor! 🙂