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And to all a good night . . .

Dec. 21, 2010

“If you want to make the voices go away, change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors.”

That might sound like advice from a quack psychologist, but it was actually someone on the help desk at our home alarm monitoring company this morning.

Our story begins a couple of days ago.

December 21, 2010
By Laura King


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Dec. 21, 2010

“If you want to make the voices go away, change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors.”

That might sound like advice from a quack psychologist, but it was
actually someone on the help desk at our home alarm monitoring company
this morning.

Our story begins a couple of days ago.

We were awakened early Saturday morning by a chirp and then a crackling, electronic voice mumbling something that we didn’t understand. It sounded like a police/fire radio transmission and I was convinced that a swat team was going to rappel down the front of the house and through the bedroom windows, like in Christmas Vacation.

Worse still, we didn’t know where it came from. After a half-hearted effort to locate the problem, my husband left for his duties with the tyke hockey team he coaches. One of my sons took to his Facebook page to tell the world his home is haunted.
And that was that.

Until this morning, when it happened again.

Like the seasonal poem says, this time my husband (and my totally freaked-out younger son) sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.

But an inspection of our home’s smoke and CO detectors – and the home security panel, and the tea maker, the digital cable box, the stereo receiver and a bunch of others things – revealed nothing amiss.

We have a lot of smoke detectors in our house. Probably more than you. As I have mentioned here before, my dad is an insurance adjuster and, growing up in Cape Breton, I was regaled (some might say traumatized) with accounts from the scenes of many fires, most of which were caused by human stupidity.

So, now that I’m an adult, a direct consequence of my upbringing is that we have lots of smoke detectors (and carbon-monoxide detectors) in our house.

Commercial interlude/blatant promo: Most, if not all, of these detectors are produced by the reliable folks at Kidde, stalwart supporters of Fire Fighting in Canada. In return, I’m a stalwart supporter of a full range of Kidde residential products!
We now resume regular blogging
.

By process of elimination (which took some time when you have the inventory of fine Kidde products that we do), we figured out that the hard-wired combo smoke/CO detector in the upstairs hallway actually has voice functionality. It doesn’t give hockey scores, but it will talk to you about things like smoke and carbon monoxide. And, um, low batteries.

Yes, the hard-wired unit also features a backup nine-volt battery.

Among my errands today is a stop for nine-volt batteries.

And, like that same seasonal poem says, tonight we’ll settle our brains for a long, winter’s nap.

So, happy Christmas to all, and to all a good (and silent!!) night!

(P.S. – Fire Fighting in Canada assistant editor Stefanie Wallace heard the same voices two weeks ago when the battery in her family’s carbon monoxide detector gave out . . . Personally, I prefer the aggravating chirp, chirp, chirp low-battery indicator but the voices certainly got our attention!)


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