Do you ever have one of those weeks where things just go wrong? And it's frustrating, yet funny when you reflect back upon the circumstances?

We played musical smoke detectors this week. I stayed up late chatting online with a friend in Hawaii, then went to bed only to be awakened in 2 and 1/2 hours by blaring smoke detectors, on and off from one end of the house to the other. The animals were not fans of this loud noise.

I jumped up and determined there was no fire in the house. So I pulled out the 9-volt batteries and the step ladder. I thought the culprit was the detector outside the master bedroom, so I changed that battery and we all settled back to sleep.

Lo and behold, in 25 minutes — one was blaring again. This time I dragged the ladder into our bedroom and changed that battery and went back to bed. In less than half an hour, you guessed it, blaring from the smoke detectors.

All of the smoke detectors are connected as they are hard wired with a battery back-up, so when one goes off, they all go off, with a cacophony of sound. This time it sounded as though the detector across the house was the culprit, but that same one outside the bedroom door was also screeching. I had just changed all the batteries Jan. 1. How could they fail? Perhaps a bad battery?

Once again I dragged the ladder to the hallway outside the master bedroom and put in another battery. There was a blessed silence, however, I was no longer interested in going back to bed as I figured the silence wouldn't last.

Changing that battery worked.

The moral of this story is to make sure that your batteries are fresh when you change them to ensure your smoke detectors are in proper working order. I recommend changing smoke detector batteries every Jan. 1 as that is an easy date to remember.

As well as having working smoke detectors in your home, you also need to have at least one, if not two, working carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Stay safe Crestview!


Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.