Sunday, June 17, 2007

3 a.m. wake up call!

BEEP BEEP BEEP! ALERT! FIRE! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! BEEP BEEP BEEP! ALERT! FIRE! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE... Imagine gettting a wake up call at 3 a.m. that your house is on fire! That is exactly what happened to my family last night. I flew out of bed so fast, I was the first one up. I screamed at my husband "LEE! FIRE!" and ran into the hallway to grab our little girls. But, there wasn't any smoke. My husband jumped out of bed and together we ran through the house trying to find the fire. Our inline smoke detector also detects carbon monoxide and we thought maybe this is what set it off.

We ran downstairs to check on the kids in the basement. They were all up, eyes wide with fright. We checked every room and found no smoke, no fire. I told my husband to go outside and see if he could see any smoke coming from the roof. No smoke. We were puzzled. Our sleepy minds couldn't figure out what had happened.

The alarm started up again...BEEP BEEP BEEP! ALERT! FIRE! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! BEEP BEEP BEEP! ALERT! FIRE! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE... We suddenly remembered that we had a plug in carbon monoxide detector we could plug in and see if it was going off due to carbon monoxide. But where was it? The last anyone had seen it was in our office. 3 a.m. is not the best time to look for something that someone thought they saw somewhere. We are still recovering from a whole house move and things are still unpacked and we still have boxes stacked in our closet. We couldn't find the carbon monoxide detector.

The alarm had shut off at this point so we could only assume it had malfunctioned. The only other way to set off this alarm is to purposely press the button to test the alarm. No one had pressed the button. We milled around the house for awhile, uncertain what had happened, relunctant to go back to bed.

After we decided it was safe to go back to bed, a bad thunderstorm came through and my husband climbed back out of bed and turned on the t.v. to track the storm. I drifted off to sleep, the thought of determining a fire escape plan for myself, my husband, and our two girls upstairs. We have already figured out an escape plan and a meeting place for the four kids we have in the basement. Our eldest daughter has a removeable ladder on her bunk bed and it is perfect to hook up into the window wells so each of the kids can climb out and run to safety to the swingset. Please, please, do not wait until 3 a.m. to figure out an escape plan! Do not wait until your mind is half asleep like we did. This 3 a.m. wake up call woke us up to the fact we hadn't planned anything.

Below are some websites that are great for helping you determine an escape plan for you and your family:

Home Fire Escape Plan

Exit Drills in the Home

Don't Let This Happen to Your Home


~Raven said...

Geez Karen.... I started reading that and had to swallow my heart... I am glad you guys are ok but I think I would definitely have your alarms checked and maybe replace the batteries also... Maybe it went off because the batteries are low or something... but have them checked soon!

up all night loom knitting said...

Yes, we need to do that. They are inline, however, they are wired directly into the electrical system and they do not take batteries. We have battery operated ones as well, they didn't go off, but the wired in ones are very sensitive. --Karen (cre8tivkj)

Dusty said...

That is good advice indeed. So glad everything was okay. My dog goes crazy when our alarms go off.
Hugs, Dusty

Mindy said...

Mine run on the house's power also, but they can also take batteries, and we had one go off in the middle of the night like you, and it was the battery that I thought didn't exist. We determined it wasn't a fire, and took it down thinking it was broken, only to have it go off again while it had no power (since there couldn't be a battery, lol). I'm glad that it was a false alarm, and glad you have a escape plan now. Double check your detectors to see if they have a slot for batteries, and change them out if they do!

Sorka said...

Wooosh! We really do need to do more in that area.. we depend too much on the fact that each floor of our house has a ground level exit..and that we are a whole 1 minute away from the firehouse!
Thanks for the wake up call!!

up all night loom knitting said...

Mindy, Thank You! We will have to check that out. It makes sense now that I think about it, otherwise, how would they detect anything in the even of a power outage?

Mindy said...

You're welcome, I had to find out the hard way like you, with it going off in the middle of the night, and I had wondered that too, what if the power goes out and there is a fire, luckily we rarely lose power here, but it's still a situation I don't want to be in. I hope that's the cause of your alarm going psycho in the middle of the night.

up all night loom knitting said...

Yes, Sorka, we should practice drills because when the time comes for the real deal, it's more than likely going be in the middle of the night when your mind is half asleep and you need to just "know" what to do!