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Memorial Day Smoke Fire Scare

Today I’m going to deviate off of my normal blogging path and tell of an interesting scare my family recently had.

On this past Memorial Day Monday, I woke up at 5:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I found myself continuing to watch the clock in 15 minute intervals as I waited for a respectable hour to get out of bed, and thus, in the process waking my wife.

I believe that I was close to dozing back to sleep when I heard the smoke detector out in the hall going off.  I jump out of bed and rush to the hallway, and started fanning the cacophony sound emitting from our hallway smoke detector.  You see, often in my house when toast or pop-tarts in our toaster start to burn a bit, for some reasons, this particular smoke alarm wails first.  But my frantic waving didn’t remedy the problem, so I gave the unit a twist and unplugged the unit from the ceiling.  Still it wailed, then after about 20 seconds it stopped.  That was when I realized that I also hear the alert from other units in the house!

I looked at the kids rooms but asked my wife to check them out while I sprinted downstairs to see if the potential fire was down there!  Once I was in the kitchen, I didn’t see or smell any smoke, so down I went into the basement.  Nothing there either, I quickly checked the fuse box, but it was okay and no burning smell!  I asked my wife to go outside and walk around the perimeter of the house looking for any smoke or heat distortion to the air while I grabbed a ladder from the garage and went to check in the attic.  On my way up, my wife asked if she should call 911, and I agree it sounded like a good idea!

I quickly check the attic (not really expecting a problem), but there wasn’t any smoke up there either…

So I decided to do a perimeter walk myself.  my wife was busy soothing my daughter who was now downstairs and freaking out.  Surprisingly, my son was nowhere to be seen.

While walking outside looking for smoke, I got the idea to check out the electric meter to see I could see any electricity flowing.  The display was not lite!  At that point I realized that the problem was no power was coming to the house.  I went in and flipped the main breaker, but still nothing happened.  As I heard the fire fighters stop by, I realized that the problem must have been with the power from the electric company.  Still the fire fighters walked through the house with me doing exactly what I did and came to the same conclusion that I had come to, especially when I showed them the display that was not showing any numbers.

So since everybody was up, I suggested that we all go our for breakfast and hope that the electricity was back on by the time we got home.

That was our start of memorial day morning.  Oh, and my son slept through the entire ordeal until my wife woke him to go to breakfast!

I’m still trying to figure out why most of the alarms triggered during the power outage.  Neither I nor the fire fighter had any idea what that happened.

Hope you enjoyed  the story of our Memorial Day Fire Scare!


10 Responses to Memorial Day Smoke Fire Scare

  1. That would be scary to hear all the smoke alarms going off early in the morning like that. Very weird that loss of power would do that. I thought all smoke alarms were battery operated. Too funny that your son somehow slept through it all.

    • They are all connected because they were installed when the house was built. They are both AC and DC powered, so when the electricity goes off in the house, the DC take over.

      I think the circuit was broke, and so the other alarms must be programmed to alert if one is totally missing (or at least that is my guess).

    • Yeah, my daughter didn’t want to sleep in her bed that night because she was so traumatized. She’s better now though (although she sleeps with the nights on these past few days).

    • Yeah, I can’t believe that he slept through it! He sleeps through his alarm clock too though, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.

  2. Sounds like you have all the detectors connected so that if one goes off, they all go off. I believe the is builder code now, at least up here in Canada it is.

    I can just imagine the initial panic you must have felt. Thank goodness it wasn’t a fire!!

    • yeah, I was running around like a crazy man at first. Next I was made when the electricity didn’t work. I though improper wiring was the cause and the builder got it wrong and I need an entire new electrical system. I was glad I was wrong!

  3. i bet that was loud!.. our smoke alarm is so loud, it could wake up the neighbors.

    crazy that losing power to your house would set it off.. but then again, i have been late to work before when my alarm didnt go off and this is a nice alternative! 😛

  4. Yeah, that’s a great way to start a long weekend! 😉 Are your alarms hard-wired? Maybe that tripped them. As for your son, I used to sleep like that when I was a kid. It would take a freight train to wake me.