Last night we had a rather unwelcome sort of excitement. Our smoke detectors went off around 1 am...but only for a few beeps. Of course, all of us (me, spouse, my mom who was visiting, and Acorn) were sleeping - well, ok, the nurse wasn't sleeping - and then weren't. Luckily Acorn slept the whole time.
We walked the whole house, and found nothing, so we went back to bed.
And just as we were settling in, Big Oak was going to tell me about the really bizarre dream he was having just before the alarm went off, the alarms went off again. Just one set of beeps this time.
Now, I don't know how it is at your house, but our house was built with the alarms pre-installed. They're all wired together, so if you set one off, they all go off. So...it's loud. Really really loud.
We walked the house again, top to bottom. The nurse is getting paranoid by this point. We turned off the dryer and went back to bed.
I ask Big Oak about his dream, and he says that he was having a dream, and heard a man's voice calling his name, completely unrelated to the dream. It woke him up, and he had actually just opened his eyes when the alarm first went off.
And, of course, now I'm feeling a bit paranoid. But, we decide sleep is important because the nurse is leaving at 7 am, and as we finally drift off to sleep, it happens yet again.
Anyway, I decide that this calls for drastic measures, and I call the police/fire dispatch line (not 911) - the alarms go off twice more while I look up the number. I explain that I probably sound nuts, but the smoke alarms keep going off for a few seconds and then stopping. He askes how many times, and I look at the clock, and get ready to tell him five times in 40 minutes, when they go off again.. He says, "wait, was that your smoke alarm?" Yes, yes it was. "ok, how many people are in your house?" Four adults, one toddler. "Ok, I'd like you all to wait on the porch."
Um....I have a sleeping toddler (and yes, he slept through all of it) who has a trach and is on oxygen. This is going to take a bit of organizing. He asks if we need a paramedic unit to come evacuate the house, and I said no, just that it was going to take a couple minutes.
So, out the door we go, alarms still going off randomly. We decide to put Acorn in his car seat so we're not worrying about him getting trampled. He of course wakes up, rather panicky that we're out in the dark.
Within a minute or two a pickup truck pulls up into the next door neighbor's drive. A man gets out with a radio and says, "so, you're having smoke alarm problems?" We start to explain, and the alarm goes off again, and stops just as quickly. He blinks a few times, says, "right. I see. You don't have a security alarm? No? Ok, I need one of you to go in with me, and we'll walk through everything."
While the rest of us are sitting there, fire trucks start arriving, with lights and no sirens, along with pickup trucks full of guys and an ambulance.
Acorn grins his biggest grin, and claps and cheers.
The neighbor comes out to ask if there's something wrong with Acorn, and we explain the problem and she commiserates....her dog got tagged by a skunk when she came out to see what the commotion was all about.
The whole time, Acorn is having a ball watching the trucks and the men in their suits.
The firemen check the whole house, top to bottom, inside and out. They find nothing....but the alarms quit going off. They suggested that we might have a detector going bad, but they're sure the house isn't in danger of burning down. They tell Big Oak that we might need to start taking the batteries out of the detectors one by one if the problem returns to discover which alarm is bad...that, or there could just be dust in one.
We all trooped back inside, but it apparently took over an hour to get Acorn back to sleep - he kept going to the window to see if the trucks were there.
I totally should have had my camera.