At 5:30am, I was ripped out of a deep sleep by a loud, shrill beeping alarm.
The first time it went off my eyes opened immediately and I hoped it was a one-off, but when it began to repeat I woke M to ask what it was.
First, we thought it was the downstairs hallway fire alarm. Nope.
Then we checked the upstairs fire alarm. Nope.
It continued to scream, and each beep seemed to get louder and more insistent. My home has high ceilings, so as the alarm sounded it was extremely loud on EVERY floor. Terrified it would wake the baby or the children at such a godforsaken hour, I began frantically checking every electronic device we owned to find the source.
Then M pointed down and said, “IT’S THAT.”
There, plugged into an outlet on the wall, was a small carbon monoxide detector. We bent down, just as it screamed again. The word “END” kept flashing in red on the digital screen.
End of what??
It was plugged in, we hadn’t lost power and didn’t need batteries, so as it screamed and flashed a big red “END” again, I naturally went the rational route.
End of what? End of days? End of life? End of world?
Was my carbon monoxide detector detecting some impending cataclysmic event?!?
As it screamed END again, M pulled it off the wall and flipped it over.”
END: Eight years after initial power up, this unit will “beep” every 30 seconds to indicate it is time to replace the alarm.”
Well, at least the world wasn’t ending.
Apparently it felt that 5:30am was a good time to start reminding us to get a new one… you know, just to get our attention. It continued to scream every 30 seconds even without a power source, so M took it downstairs for a little “surgery” to make it stop.
Exhausted, we trudged back upstairs on alert– waiting to see if the END OF WORLD alarm had awoken the children.
…I have never loved our sound machines as much as I have in that moment.
So, here’s a little PSA: check your carbon monoxide detectors. They END after 8 years.