It's good to know I still remember fire safety training I've learned over the years. Even if I don't actually need it.
This weekend Sean was staying with his brother while his mom was out of town, so Oliver and I (and the mice) were left to hold down the fort on our own. I tend to let my mind get the best of me in these situations, so every noise, every creak of this 100+ year-old house puts me on edge.
So when I woke up at 5 o'clock this morning to Oliver sitting on top of me, shaking like a leaf, I instantly panicked. It wasn't storming, and that's usually the only other time he gets like that, so I wasn't sure what he was sensing that I wasn't. Then I heard the smoke detector beep.
I shot straight up in bed and thought, "of course, the one night I'm alone the house would start on fire," as I pictured myself crawling out the tiny window of our second floor bedroom in my tank top and boxer shorts. If you haven't figured this out by now, I'm a huge over-reactor.
So I jumped out of bed and remembered learning at some point in life to always feel the door handle for heat to see if there is fire outside the door. Let me mention that I had only heard the smoke detector beep once. Obviously it would be a little more constant if there was a fire!
The handle was cold to the touch so I opened the door. Not seeing any smoke or hearing either of the 2 detectors going off, I thought it could be the carbon monoxide detector. I run downstairs and check that one, but there was nothing. Suddenly I hear the beep again, this time noticing the woman who politely shouts "battery low" after the beep. The smoke detector in the upstairs hallway was losing its backup battery (it's hard-wired, but insists on beeping if the battery doesn't work).
So at 5:00 I had to take the shaking dog, drive to Walgreens (thank God for 24/7!), buy batteries, and come home to try and replace the damn thing. It took me a while, again because it was hard wired and connected to active electrical wires in the ceiling, but I did it! Good to know that if it had been a fire, I remembered my fire safety and had prepared an escape route.
I finally fell back asleep sometime after 6, and woke up shivering around 7. Turns out I had forgotten to turn the heat on before going to bed, so the house was extremely cold. Hey, that's usually Sean's job :) What a morning!
I think we make a better team - I'm not so good at this house stuff on my own!