So in our three years of living in our neighborhood we've never really done anything to embarrass ourselves. Sure we've lost the kids only to find them either hiding or asleep in the house, but nothing to outwardly embarrass us. Well, with Michelle and the boys out of town, it's safe to say I finally did it! Here's what happened.
When I got home from my long weekend in Palm Springs (we were down there for her cousin's wedding--shout out to Melissa and Daniel Lake!) it was late Monday night. I was tired, but all of the fire alarms in the house were beeping. Note: They were not going off, just beeping, like the battery was dead. So off I went to check on all of the smoke detectors and replace all of the batteries. Batteries are easy to find since we keep all of our good ones in a box in the garage. Actually, scratch that. "I" keep all of the fresh batteries in a box in the garage.
I replaced all the batteries in all four smoke detectors, but to no avail as the beeping kept going. By this point it was after 1 a.m., and coupled with my ear ache, an early morning in Palm Springs (for golf! ;-) and knowing I had work to do the next day, I went to bed.
The next day when I got home from work the alarms were still beeping (the beeping went on every minute or so and cycled through each alarm). By this point though I'd gotten used to it and it didn't really bug me. When I spoke with Michelle that night I told her about the beeping continuing even after pushing all the buttons and replacing all of the batteries and that it was kind of annoying. Michelle had the nerve to ask me if all of the batteries were new or old. I replied, "Well I got them from the box in the garage so the must be new." She then went on to tell me how this had happened before and she called the station, which then sent someone (1 person--singular) out to check on it and reset the alarms.
Well, seeing as it was late Tuesday by this point I just figured I'd call tomorrow. So now it's tomorrow, and I'm home after work, running errands and finally sitting down to watch the Manchester United vs. Barcelona game--when I hear the beeping (seriously, I'd gotten so used to it I only heard it every now and then). Being the proud man that I am, I figured there was no need to double check the batteries... it seemed like too much trouble. Afterall, I had just replaced them with the NEW batteries in my BOX in the garage!
I went online and found the AFTER HOURS NON-EMERGENCY number for the Lehi Fire Department. I called the dispatch and explained the situation. A red flag went up when the lady on the other end told me to evacuate everyone out of the house. I explained to her that my family was out of town and that I'd been sleeping in the house for two days now (meaning--if there was a leak, I'd already be dead!), and that it wasn't an emergency. She said she'd send someone over to check on it. I thought nothing of it and went back to my game (Barcelona was now up 1-0).
Here's where I managed to embarrass myself. A few minutes later I heard what sounded like a truck pull up out front my house. The first thought in my head: "Oh no they didn't!!" When I walked up to look out the front window and to my surprise a big red fire truck was parked out front the house with 5-6 firefighters getting suited up with gas tanks and all. I walked out and tried to explain the same thing I explained on the phone: "it's just the smoke alarms beeping like the batteries dead. It's not an emergency."
He replied, "Please step out of the house sir and get anyone else out if they are home." I laughed and said to myself "please don't be the stupid batteries!" Did I mention there was also an ambulance and a police car?! Oh, and every neighbor on the street was out on their driveway looking down at the spectacle and wondering what was going on. I explained the situation to one and he said he'd tell everyone not to worry.
A couple minutes later a cop comes up to me to take down my information. I explained what I did and that all of this (a full fire truck, ambulance and police car) were not necessary. He said, "well that's what happens when you call 911." But alas, I didn't call 911. I explained that I called the after-hours NON-EMERGENCY number for the department. He said this was just protocol. All I could think was that this was not what Michelle said happened last time. One person came. Small pick-up truck (owned by the FD).
When I was allowed back in my house (about 5 minutes), I asked what had happened and if they were able to reset the alarms. Can you guess what it was? Yup, the "new" batteries I replaced in the fire detectors were not so new afterall (expiration said 2006--who knew to read those things!?). Well, at least I gave the guys at the station something to do. Only, I'm sure they weren't that impressed that the damsel in distress was a 31 year-old man. :-)
Oh, did I mention they replaced all the batteries (with fresh-out-of-the-package batteries) and the alarms finally stopped beeping.