My world is dark (except for the glow of a TV screen). My world is quiet (except for the soft sounds coming from the TV). I have been lulled into sleep when suddenly a piercing, squawking noise unsettles the night.
At first I think this sound is coming from the TV, but it is not. This sound forces me to become conscious of my surroundings. I get up from the bed and realize it is the smoke detector screaming at me. The problem is which one? There is one in the bedroom, one a few steps away in another bedroom, and a third one a few steps away near the hearth room. As I try to make sense of this noise it stops.
This was not the gentle chirp that becomes an annoyance when the battery is dying. This was the squawking that said get up and out of the house, you have a problem. The only problem we could find was a smoke detector gone crazy. My husband went out into the garage to sniff for smoke, but thankfully there was none .
We settled back into bed, not quite sure of what just happened. Slowly we slipped back into sleep, but just as we were about to fall into deep sleep the squawking began again. This time it did not take us so long to respond.
I jumped out of bed determined to discover which smoke detector was screaming. I noticed the small green light on one turned orange red but then turned back to green when the noise stopped. Now I know which one seems to be going haywire, but I don’t know what to do about it.
I am afraid to go back asleep, thoughts crowd my mind as I lay there waiting for another screech. What if there is a fire and we don’t discover it until it is too late? What would I grab as I head out of the house? What about my computer and books on the other side, I know I can’t get to them. Should I put a pair of shoes next to the bed? How will I do my job without my computer? The rest of the night was a restless sleep, waiting, knowing that alarm may sound any moment.
So far there’s been no repeat of that night. No sounds from any of the smoke detectors. I don’t know what triggered it, but I’m thankful to know I won’t sleep through the alarm. I just hope I never need to hear it for real.