Coffee heat rising

Smoke Alarm Hell

Just about all the smoke alarms in the house are conkering out at the same time. It’s beep! to the left of you and beep! to the right of you and new beeps every time you turn around.

That’s not surprising. We installed these alarms when I moved in, so they’re…what? Eight or ten years old.

Replaced one. Didn’t do any good. the newer alarms are kinda junky. And getting the damn things up on the ceiling is a MAJOR hassle.l

They’re still beeping. A-A-A-A-L-L-L  N-N-I-I-I-I-G-H-T  L-O-N-G!

What a racket!

And I can’t reach them to pull them off the ceiling. Climbing up on a ladder at this age, as a scarecrow of osteoporotic bones, is NOT a good idea. And my son is too busy to come trotting down here and fart around with a bunch of fire alarms.

So I didn’t get any sleep last night, not to speak of.

Ruby and I are back from the park, but no food has been served up to the Human. Hmmm…

What I’m thinking is that when the shops open — which will be very soon — I’ll go up to the hardware store and buy a whole new bunch of smoke alarms, along with as many new expensive 9-volt batteries.

Instead of sticking them on the ceilings, I’ll put them on top of the bookcases — which in three rooms reach almost to the ceiling. And on top of the refrigerator, and atop the old TV cabinet that now serves as a linen closet in the spare bedroom.

We have one in the hallway, which I believe is relatively new. And the one here in the office is newer. The one in the kitchen…middling newish. The others — (former) TV room, family room, living room — are getting old. They could stand to be replaced, I reckon.

The house was equipped, when I bought it, with a hard-wired fire alarm in the garage. It’s still out there…and I have NO idea whether it works. Nor do I see a way to test it. So…it might be a good idea to put another of these chintzy little battery-run numbers out there. Just in case.

Y’know…the whole Home-Ownership thing is getting kinda old. I’m beginning to see why the idea of moving into Orangewood — a life-care community — appealed to my father. He must have been getting real tired of doing maintenance and repairs on that house in Sun City.

Well, I don’t wanna consign myself to a prison for old folks. BUT…this city has some high-rise apartments that are fairly swell. I’m thinking it might be good to move to one of those.

My son opposes that scheme. I suspect that’s because he wants this house. And I would have to sell it to get myself into a fancy condominium.

On the other hand, when I croak over — which shouldn’t be that much longer — he’ll inherit enough to buy three of these houses.

Hmmmm….  Maybe what I should do is just give this house to him and spend half my savings to move into a high-rise.

Doesn’t sound wise, does it.

Nope. Not wise.

There’s gotta be a way….

5 thoughts on “Smoke Alarm Hell”

  1. You can get new smoke alarms now that have a 10-year lithium battery.
    I think I got one at Costco on a deal.
    It might even be a CO2 detector.
    And do you really need so many? I thought in the hall by the bedrooms and in the kitchen was sufficient.

    • Yep: that’s what I’ve got: 1 in each of the 4 bedrooms, 1 in the hallway, and 1 in the kitchen. Plus 1 in the living room and 1 in the family room.

      The hallway is very long…but it’s true, the one at the east end of the hall would probably suffice for the two back bedrooms. Another bedroom houses a couple of electric appliances…they’re not LIKELY to catch fire, but…anything’s possible.

      And in the “anything’s possible” department, after the Romanian Landlord threatened the judge in the case we won against him, my lawyers were SO alarmed they didn’t want me to come back to the house at all. Among the disasters they envisioned: he would throw a firebomb through one of the windows or onto the roof. They begged me to go direct from the courthouse to rent someplace and never again be seen in these parts at all.

      Well. I wasn’t about to leave my German shepherd pal here to be incinerated. Nor did I relish stashing a houseful of furniture and clothing in a storage bin (or hiring someone to do that) and camping out in some bare-bones apartment for a year, only to have to move again after the dust settles. Or following SDXB to Sun City, which I abominate.

      {sigh} They underestimate ole’ Tony. The man is very, VERY smart. And he ain’t about to do anything that would get him sent back to lovely Romania.

      Given my choice, I’d rent one of the highly desirable apartments in Scottsdale or the central part of Phoenix. But my son opposes that scheme — probably, I suspect, because he hopes to inherit this house.

      Tony, meanwhile, carries on his warfare in much more subtle and intelligent ways. It’s crucial to bear in mind that Tony is VERY smart. He’s no intellectual — he doesn’t have that kind of cultural background. But he’s one of the smartest human beings you could ever meet. Would he burn down this house? He might, if he could see a way to pull it off. But with cameras watching the place from all directions, you can be sure he’s not about to try anything like that.

      And that’s one of the reasons I’ve got smoke alarms installed every which way from Sunday. If any such antic does devolve, I will need enough warning to get out through a window or Arcadia door — VERY fast. And get my sidekick out with me!

  2. Funny, it’s so clear you want out of that neighborhood, and you have the right to strong agency and independence at this stage of life. You’re such a great lady, and I appreciate your innate joie de vivre.

    Are you comfortable having a straightforward conversation with your son to clarify what you suspect to be his intentions in inheriting your home, as well as your desire to live elsewhere? The fact is that you may not physically be able to maintain the house or comfortably live there in the future. Better to plan ahead and move while you still have a choice and can acclimate to new surroundings.

    If he wants to keep the house as his residence, he could sell or rent his home and move into yours while paying you rent to defray your rent at a new place. If he want to keep your house as an investment, you could make him property manager and let him rent it out, with rent payable to you. If his plan is to sell your house, you could sell it now and use proceeds to buy or rent another home, which he would inherit to keep or sell as he wishes.

    I’m just an anonymous long-time reader who delights in your blog and who has grown fond of you, so take these ideas for what they’re worth, maybe nothing. But you yearn to move, and your son seems to be an important limitation on your freedom. So perhaps a heart to heart conversation so that you both understand what matters most to you.

    Whatever you decide, I’m sending you good wishes and hugs from afar.

    • These are interesting ideas.

      Yes, my son does want this house. With good reason: it’s a pretty place, reasonably well built (for a late 20th-century tract house), centrally located, and paid for. If I walk away from it, he’s stuck with an aging, uninsulatable brick house that costs hundreds of dollars a month to air-condition in the summertime. Mine’s not great but it’s better than his, for sure. It’s also paid for, so if he chose not to move into it, he could either sell this place and pay off his mortgage, or sell both places and without doubt find something much better than either one.

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