I am a light sleeper. I can’t handle an actual alarm clock waking me up, it’s too harsh. (I use the radio setting on a very low volume.) If one of my children wakes up in the middle of the night and comes to get me, it’s rare that my head isn’t already off the pillow as they walk in my room. So can you imagine what might happen if the smoke alarms went off in the middle of the night? I am literally on my feet running towards the kids’ rooms before the second chirp happens. How do I know this? They went off Friday night because someone (okay, me) forgot to change the batteries last spring.
It took a second to realize that there was no actual fire – the fact that they were only squealing occasionally instead of continuously was the first clue to my foggy mind. Our fire alarms are all interconnected, so if one goes off they all go off. And that noise is so piercing that it made my hands shake as I raced around the house, yelling at my husband to do the same, and tried to get them all down while also telling the kids to stay calm. Mission accomplished! It still took a while for my heart to slow down enough that I could fall back asleep.
Saturday morning we swapped out the batteries and put them all back in their places. But something went wrong and the smoke alarms decided not to make any fuss about that until sometime after midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning. So for the second night in a row I was ripped from my bed by that ear piercing alarm. I believe I screamed NO NOT AGAIN as I raced around. My husband groggily asked if we were taking them down again as I ran around upstairs doing just that, “Yes! Yes – for the love of all that is good make the cursed noise STOP!” (or something like that) Oh my word, my heart was pounding and even though the alarms weren’t continuous I had a harder time falling back asleep this second night. What if there really was some sort of fire? I had a terrible night’s sleep.
Sunday I re-installed the batteries and smoke alarms – carefully, gently with a small prayer of please do your job and don’t go off again. All day I walked around and looked at their little lights to make sure they were doing what they were supposed to do. Then it came time to go to bed. I was so nervous that it was going to happen again. Last night I literally jerked awake to a sitting position four different times – the alarms didn’t go off again, I was just so tense that I imagined they had.
So now I can’t even sleep through the night because I’m afraid of the noise of the smoke alarm.