Monday, June 20, 2016

A chirping detector

One of the annoyances of modern life is being woken up at four o'clock with a chirping sound. The first time it happened I thought a bird had flown into my apartment. Eventually I caught on that it was the smoke detector. I figured out it needed new batteries.

A couple of nights ago, at four o'clock in the morning, I was woken up with a beeping sound. Five beeps. I thought it was the smoke detector but, upon closer examination, realized it was the carbon monoxide detector. In multiple dwellings in New Jersey you are required to have one of these and once in a blue moon the state sends an inspector to make sure you do.

I said huh, it must be the fan is spewing up dust. I probably should clean the blades on my fan. I did that, and the next morning, at four o'clock the smoke detector beeped five times. Then I said, oh, I guess it needs new batteries. I put in newly purchased batteries. Five minutes later, it started chirping.

Maybe I have carbon monoxide I figured. However I have an electric stove, the a-c was off and I have no cars within 60 feet, more or less. Then I went on the Internet. No quick advice there.

Finally I got desperate and read the instructions. Nothing there particularly helpful. I looked closely at the device. In tiny letters it said one beep means an emergency. Four beeps means new batteries. Five beeps means it's time to get a new carbon monoxide detector.  Guess I should get one of those. But it's almost new! Well five years old at the most.

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