Monday, January 19, 2009

An open letter to my smoke detectors.

Dear Kidde Smoke Detectors,

We have some problems we need to discuss. I mean, apart from your cute little name, what are you really adding to my life right now. I'm pretty sure the answer is "not much." I know it seems uncharitable but really, other than your frequent but intermittent beeping what is your point?

I understand the goal of a smoke detector. It really isn't hard. Your whole goal in life should be preventing my family's demise in a firey inferno. Simple. So why are you straying from this singular goal? Is this your idea of a hilarious prank. There is no way we are going to burn to death right now in all this cold. Freeze to death, maybe, but that's not your territory really.

Let's be clear, it has been damned cold in Seattle. Really really cold. And yes, I too hate every minute of it. But here's the difference, I am not a smoke detector. It's ok for me to bitch and whine at intermittent intervals. In fact, I think it may be a genetic imperative for me to do just that. You on the other hand need to shut the fuck up. Why cold weather convinces you that I need a loud burst of your electronic beep every 20 seconds or so is beyond me. As soon as it warms up, you shut up. I can see the beauty in that, but come on.

You know I used to resent you because you refused to network the way the package promised. You were supposed to "speak" to the other smoke detectors if one detected danger. Now I say a little prayer of thanks every time you have your little cold weather-induced temper tantrum. The last thing I need in the middle of the night is a house-wide alert that it's a little chilly out.

And if that wasn't enough, you feel the need to let me know my cooking doesn't live up to your high standards either. Sure, there's a lot of steam when I boil water, but that's no reason for your stilted electronic voice to call out "Fire in the hallway. Evacuate. Evacuate." Seriously, what a freakin' drama queen.

Now I've adjusted, and I've been kind. I haven't beat your plastic and circuitry to a broken heap of rubble with my broom because I think you may actually save my family if the circumstance arose. You certainly are loud and annoying. You do bleat out your warnings at the earliest sign of....steam or cold. Why wouldn't fire fit into that mix? But last night went just too damned far. After one of you pulsed out the "Fuck it's cold" alert in the front stairs for hours, I finally got to sleep. The secondary intrusion of the alarm at about in the basement at 4 am seemed like overkill. There was no "smoke in the basement." No need to "evacuate, evacuate"! And yet Mr. Dog still had to haul his ass out of bed to disable you so we could get our few precious hours of sleep. My request is simple, just one little thing. Pipe down and focus on honing your ability to recognize the vital difference between a fire and cold weather.


And yes, we have been replacing batteries as they eat them up in the cold weather. Do we get any thanks for that? Hell no! Ungrateful smoke detectors.


Beth said...

OMG! I would probably have beaten those damned plastic disks to death. Dang, girl!

Our fire alarm is monitored by the same company that keeps tabs on the burglars trying to get in. It only wants to go off in the middle of the night or when we aren't home. There has never been a fire so the maintenance guy always says it is dust. Geez! Is it that obvious?

Hope you get some uninterrupted sleep! Hilarious post!

chihuahua5 said...

dude...are you thinking about the friends epsiode when phoebe destroys the smoke detectors and then the firemen show up?

Anonymous said...

And why is it they always start that random beeping at 2am?

Anonymous said...

The worse smoke detectors are the ones that are hard wired in. At UW, they would have to call out the fire department because if you tampered with it, it could set off the whole system with a huge fine.

I agree, I hate them when they beep...(ESPECIALLY) when you are trying to sleep.

geekymummy said...

New batteries? The beeping is usually the batteries. Ours do that networking thing, so you have to change all the batteries to prevent the random annoying beeping by all allarms for one dead battery. And cold weather would make dying batteries seem dead, warmer weather might eak a bit more life from them. Hope you can solve it. beep.

Anonymous said...

Man, I hate when those things beep. We have a few of them and they always seem to start their beeping at 2AM. We also have hardwired smoke detectors and unfortunately the fire dept has been here twice; once for some smokey (but not firey, is that a word) chicken parmesan and another for a wet detector in the basement due to an overflowing toilet on the first floor. Yeah, that was fun.

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