Monday, June 20, 2011

The Story of When K Slept Through a Fire Alarm

About 2 months ago, it was an ordinary evening here at the P residence. I had put the kids to bed, watched a little TV, then went to bed myself. I was in a nice deep sleep when at 1:00 am I was abruptly woken to the sound of my FIRE ALARMS going off in my house.

Can we talk about the SHEER PANIC it feels like to be woken by your smoke alarm? In the middle of the night? When your a mom????? INSTANT HEART ATTACK. I mean full on, heart pumping out of your chest, ready to puke, shaking uncontrollably, heart attack.

I jumped right up, no delay- grabbed the video monitor and ran right to Kay's room. I peaked at M on the monitor- she appeared to be fine. Kay was okay, and in route to her room (across the kitchen from ours) I saw no fire or smoke to speak of. My husband instantly woke up too, but he doesn't have the panic button like I do. Maybe its because I am a mom, or because I am a girl but I cant even put into words what I felt for that instant when I woke up to that sound blaring off in my home. I mean it freaked him out, but once he saw there was no fire he was okay. I was not.

The high pitched VERY LOUD blare was still going off and my husband was running around checking for fires anywhere. Once we discovered there was no fire and I had officially died from my heart attack, he proceeded to figure out which unit it was causing the whole system to go off. See we have a whole house system that is connected, so if one goes off, they all go off. This has happened once before and one of the alarms batteries had died- causing the whole system to go off while we ran around trying to figure out which one it was. Pain the in the giant ass. Luckily then it was during the day and we knew there was no fire. This time it was in the middle of the night, and so we didn't know if there was a fire! Very scary!

10 minutes went by, alarm still blaring and it suddenly dawned on me. Kay never woke up! She was snoring right through multiple EXTREMELY loud fire alarms going off, one right outside her open door!! SCARY. Miss M didn't wake up either, but I was more worried and surprised by Kay. See M couldn't help herself out even if there was a fire so that didn't bother me as much, but say the fire was in Kay's room and the alarms where going off? WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED?

We finally figured out that it was the unit that is IN Kay's room that had a dead battery so that one wasn't going off, but there is one RIGHT outside her room (literally 2 feet away on the ceiling away from the other one) that was- and her door was wide open.

Needless to say, after all was said and done my husband went back to sleep and as the kids were still snoozing away, I couldn't go back to sleep. I was too shaken up by the whole thing. For that few seconds that I thought there was a fire and how I needed to get to my kids was my worst nightmare. Just the thought. How could I go back to sleep?!

All of this had me thinking about how we need to put evacuation plans in place, and how I could ensure that Kay would wake up if the alarm ever went off again. Maybe next time it wont be a false alarm and I want her to be safe. But HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

I called my BFF the very next morning and told her the whole story, the whole thing almost had her in tears- ya know imagining waking up to your fire alarms going off...and I told her about Kay and how she didn't wake up and how that really worried me. Her theory is this: Kay has too many sleeping apparatuses and there for goes into a too deep of sleep. Okay okay, Kay does sleep with a sound machine on (we all do, and in case you were wondering rain is our sound of choice), she also sleeps with a sleep mask (she started the a couple years ago!), her blankie, and her fan on high.

So what am I supposed to do? Strip them of their lovies? Lets just pray that never happens again!


Anonymous said...

I sleep through alarms too - at 18! kinda scary.

one thought have you thought about getting a sprinkler to put over her bed which could go off in the event of a fire?! getting wet may wake her.

if not maybe a really loud honker or something?! I'm sure if you contact you local fire department they may have ideas.

Mummy radar's a pretty excellent too! kids just sleep a lot more deeply than most adults do.

Best wishes - emily

Cindy said...

If you're really concerned, you could look into what sort of alarm systems deaf people use. I can't remember, but it seems to me there is a bed-shaking connection to an alarm.

Dana said...

WOW! I can't even imagine how scary that would have been! Maybe once there are working batteries in the alarm that is actually IN her room she would wake up. I like the sprinkler idea too, but only if the sprinkler goes off ONLY when detecting smoke. It would be crappy if you had another false alarm and the sprinklers went off. ;)

Jennifer said...

So, so scary! I would suggest calling your local fire department and asking what they suggest. Ask what they have installed in their own homes. Good luck and keep us posted so that I could maybe put the practice to use!