This post is about something that you should not be a minimalist on.
We awoke at 3 am to the smoke alarm beeping in my youngest son’s bedroom. My wife heard it first and woke me up as she ran to his room but I thought it was his alarm clock so I stayed in bed. She ran downstairs. I thought she needed some light to see how to turn off his alarm. The noise stopped, but when she ran back into our room yelling “What’s going on?!” I realized it wasn’t his alarm clock.
I’m a little slow sometimes, especially at 3 am.
As I jumped out of bed, it went off again. It beeped several times and stopped. I removed it and took it to our room and then went back to check his room over. There was no smoke and no smell. We felt the walls and ceiling but didn’t feel any heat. We have detectors in each of the four bedrooms upstairs and one in the hallway. None of the others went off, but his alarm sounded again a few minutes later in our room. It’s a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector so I paid attention to the lights. It was definitely lit up for smoke, not for CO.
I finally felt pretty confident that there was no fire and there was something wrong with the smoke detector. I removed the batteries and took it downstairs. I then checked all over the house and didn’t find any evidence of smoke, heat, or any problems. Eventually, I left it in the kitchen without the battery and tried to get a little more sleep. I really struggled with what to do, because I was sure the detector was malfunctioning but what if it wasn’t?
The next day I started educating myself about smoke detectors. Here’s what I’ve learned:
What should you do now?
Examine all of your smoke detectors and CO detectors. Take them down and look at the back to see the manufacture date and read any instructions on them. Just because you installed it 8 years ago doesn’t mean it isn’t past the 10 year mark. Don’t wait 13 years like me. Replace the old ones. Also, consider where your detectors are located and what types of detectors you have. Here are links to a couple sites that may help you decide where to place them and what detectors to buy.
I now have replaced all of my smoke detectors with these smoke and CO detectors from First Alert you see below. I have a CO alarm on each floor and a total of 6 smoke detectors throughout the house. They all interconnect so that if one goes off, they all go off. These also have a built-in voice alert to announce where the fire/CO is. They are unbelievably loud. We feel much more confident that if something happens, everyone will wake up and get out of the house.
Go check yours out. Now.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2017