Saturday, 19 December 2015

Warning: CO Detectors Expire

A couple nights ago, we woke up in the night to beeping.  Shawn sprung up out of bed, ready to save the family from whatever perils awaited us.  I stretched and said I'd be there in a minute.  The beeping was at a lazy cadence and didn't seem too urgent.  Turns out it was the CO detector.

A quick google search taught us that our brand of CO detector expires after 7 years.  Who knew?  When the internal clock says it has been around long enough, it lets out one beep every 30 seconds until it is unplugged.  But herein lies a tricky problem: we know, from having toddlers around pulling things out of walls, that when you unplug the CO detector it goes off like a banshee.

Also: our detector decided to enact its 7-year-itch at 3:13am.  We did NOT want to wake up the children.

After about 10 minutes of brainstorming (and an unhealthy increase in blood pressure), Shawn looked at me like a man about to jump on a grenade and said "I'm just going to do it."  We braced ourselves.  He unplugged the detector.  And nothing.

Whomever invented CO detectors is brilliant: they created a way to prevent my family from dying a slow, quiet death.  Pure genius.  But it was a pretty foolish to design a product that beeps after seven years, build in a mechanism that prevents said product from screaming in said circumstance and then WRITE THAT ON THE BACK OF THE PRODUCT.  FYI, engineers, no one can read the calm "don't worry about it" message on the side that faces the wall when they are debating whether or not unplug the thing at 3:23am.  Poor, poor design.

I suppose all is well that ends well, since none of the children woke up.  And so this is the end of that story, but Malcolm did wake did wake up, all on his own, two minutes after we climbed back into bed.  That's my life.

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