Everybody Loves Annie
Everybody loves our dog Annie.
But Annie doesn’t love everybody.
We recently took advantage of a wonderful service offered by our local fire department, River Falls Fire Department: we had them replace our smoke alarms.
Before you accuse me of being too lazy to replace my own batteries, let me explain. When we built our house thirteen years ago we were convinced to go with a wired-in smoke alarm system—six alarms all wired together so that if one upstairs beeped you were notified downstairs and so on. You still had to replace backup batteries in them twice each year. A couple years ago we learned, in the middle of the night, that even wired smoke alarms have a finite life. It didn’t matter if we replaced the 9v batteries, we could not get the alarms to stop beeping so we pulled them all out, bought replacements, and wired them back in to place. This time, we only made it about two years before the same thing happened. The alarm was going off every two hours ALL NIGHT LONG. Annie was a nervous wreck that night as she cannot tolerate a beeping noise.
At about 4AM I yanked down from the ceiling every smoke alarm we had; no simple feat when the downstairs ceilings are 10ft tall and I was a sleep deprived zombie climbing the ladder. At last the beeping stopped. Annie was still stressed but at least we could go back to sleep for more than just two hours.
I had seen promotions touting local fire departments replacing smoke alarms. I thought it might just be for new homes but when I called I was told it was a service for anyone. A kind gentleman took my information and arranged to come to our house. I spent a little time over the next week putting wire caps on all the exposed wires in the ceiling. One evening, the Fire Chief himself came to our house. He walked in with his own power tool and I furnished the ladder. With the first one he installed, he had to hit a ‘reset’ button which made the alarm beep several times. This sent Annie crawling up Jenni and trying to seek comfort under chin. I’m not sure Annie trusted firemen before, but it was certain now.
In less than ten minutes, the Chief had installed new smoke alarms with 10 Year Batteries! Sure, in ten years we will have forgotten all this and spend hours searching the internet on tips to reset these alarms, but until then we can relax and Annie, hopefully, will not have to see another fireman in her lifetime.
Now it’s safe for me to take a turn at cooking once again.
(You didn’t really believe that, did you?)