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Smoke alarm vs my sanity!

5 min read

Last night it was a Smoke alarm vs my sanity!

Sleep, oh sweet gorgeous sleep. First because being in pain 24/7 is so tiring but also because if I am asleep, I am not laid awake in pain.

Now I think I have become very good at getting sleep despite the high levels of pain, but I guess that after so many years it does become the norm!

Last night I got in bed at 8pm and read, before 10pm I got as comfortable as I could and tried to get to sleep and I did.

What I hadn’t realised is that the smoke alarm had other plans.

There is no doubt that since smoke alarms were installed into the majority of houses that a few things happened;

  • First was that deaths in house fires were reduced.
  • Second was that we learnt how to stop one making its noise with a Tea Towel.
  • Third was that we all grew to hate the low battery warning.

Modern technology amazes me, it’s incredible what they can do and yet we still have smoke alarms that chirp every 30 seconds when the battery is low. Of course it’s always in the middle of the night.

It doesn’t give a warning and you press a button with a broomstick to say okay and then goes into 30 second chirp mode a few days later when and if you forgot to replace the battery.

I think that every one of us has been woken at silly o’clock by a chirping smoke alarm and this is exactly what happened to me last night.

Despite the fact that we know what the sound is, it always takes a while to figure it out.

“What the f### is that?”

“Is that a bird?”






Now the situation last night wasn’t helped by my pain being a bit high over the past few days, it doesn’t help that I use a wheelchair, that my wife is two inches short of an Ewok and that with the issue of ceilings that are about 9′ high.

I laid there contemplating the situation, all I had was, should I get the broom and try to shut it up?

So I decided to try to get back to sleep and it worked for a short time, during that time I dream that there is a bird in a tree asking me something that I can’t understand.

After what seemed like hours but was most likely minutes, I started to slowly lose the plot.

The Smoke alarm vs my sanity!

I then think that it might be a good idea to grab the air rifle and shoot the thing and yes I realise that this is a little drastic but by now I was no longer thinking rationally. A small white plastic box on the ceiling had won the battle of psychological warfare. It is fair to say that I would not survive interrogation!

At 7am after not very much sleep and not great sleep when I did, my wife let’s our dog out for his morning wee and every day he runs into the bedroom and goes under the blankets to sleep. It’s okay he isn’t a big dog, he is a miniature dacshund with a splash of chihuahua. However today he is also very aware of the chirping smoke alarm and runs round and round the bed and licking me on the face to alert me that something is happening.

So I am awake awake now and so I attempt to look at this morning news on the BBC news app, but the chirping was slowly sending me into what was liable to be an outburst of expletives and a rant that would not silence the smoke alarm but make me feel even more crap!




Fucking Chirp!

I then get out of bed, into my wheelchair and into the kitchen to grab the broom, I will be victorious, this bloody thing will not win!

I manage to pry open the smoke alarm that is up on a 9′ high ceiling but no matter how high I hit the battery or swear, it wont disconnect. So I try standing up, I am 6′ 4″ and I can still stand for about 15 to 20 seconds but I can only just touch the battery!

CHIRP, CHIRP, CHIRP! aaarrrrggghhhhhhhh!

Smoke alarm vs my sanity!

I get the step out the kitchen that my 4′ 10″ wife needs to get anything out the cupboards above the worktop and wheel back into the hall, a now crazed look on my face like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

I know it’s a bad idea, I can just about stand up but I am so desperate now that I am taking risks, the hall is narrow with a dado rail and so I steady myself and up on the step and grab…aaarggghhh, it hurts like mad but I am victorious and I fall back into my wheelchair so hard that I almost tip out backwards!

So now my pain levels are definetly high, but the silence is pure bliss.

You know you are not thinking straight when you weigh up not being alerted to fire and the sweet silence of not having that chirp every 30 seconds through out the night!


Update: I posted this on Twitter and Essex County Fire & Rescue tweeted me saying “the best thing to do is book a home safety visit – that way we can come and see you in your home and discuss fire safety and all the options available”.

And so I clicke dthe link they included and booked a visit and they are coming this friday, that is two days later to fit some new smoke alarms that have a ten year battery life. They also asked about the smoke alarm with a low battery, I said that someone had sorted it for us, but they would have come out that same day to sort it rather than leave us without a working smoke detector. How amazing is that!

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