…for the Residential Building Alarm…


Alarm companies these days afford all kinds of security and the ability of one button summoning of emergency services. Similar to ringing a bell to have your butler run into the room.

THE EMERGENCY
An alarm company has called stating that a resident has activated the “fire” panic button and there is no answer on call back.

THE ACTION
Companies arrive to the swanky neighborhood noting no smoke and no fire showing. On investigation they are met by the homeowner, who is in her day robe, and find the source of the alarm. It’s not fire. It’s not smoke. It’s not burnt food or a strange odor. She leads the first in engine to the basement where a smoke detector is chirping, indicating it needs a new 9 volt battery.
“You change these, right?”
We’re floored. The glances to each other speak volumes and then the boss, an almost 30 year veteran began to giggle. Giggling, as you know, is contagious and we were all soon giggling while walking back out.
The resident was convinced that the button on the alarm panel with the little flame on it was to summon the fire department for any reason.
“Who is going to change the battery? I don’t know how to do that?”
Not one of use could face her for the fear of bursting into complete laughter, which we did shortly after clearing the scene.

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4 thoughts on “…for the Residential Building Alarm…”

  1. I for one can not believe the audacity of this article. A member of the public, who indecently pays your wages made a request for your services and you did nothing but laugh and make light of the call in your blog. Yes the RP did not go about the request for service correctly but all you had to do was provide, what one or two minutes of instruction on how to change the battery? Gee, sorry to interrupt your day and provide the public a service. These Fire depts. view this situation much differently:
    http://www.marinwoodfire.org/content/Community%20Services/100014
    http://www.mtlfd.org/index.php?page=smoke-detectors
    http://www.dvfassn.com/wakeupdelaware.cfm
    http://www.fairfaxva.gov/FireSafety/FreeSmokeDetectors.asp
    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20081111/ALTOONA01/81109013/0/ALTOONA05
    http://www.morristwp.com/dept_fire_detector.asp
    http://www.townofmountpleasant.com/index.cfm?section=14&page=2&mesg=art426.

  2. Realfirefighter makes a valid point here. Not taking the time to instruct how to change a 9 volt battery is indeed an oversight. The time it takes to provide such a service is nothing in the grand scale of the Fire Service mission.

  3. I sorry but I feel Realfirefighter is wrong. Why should we condone actions that allows this person to endanger the lives of an engine company (maybe multiple) and every other person who is on the road during this “ridiculous” code-3 run.
    This was a member of the public who I’m sure may pay property tax of which a small part does go to fire service, I don’t think she writes any firefighters paychecks.
    Now I hope Realfighterfigher knows that one of the most dangerous parts of a firefighters job is responding Code-3 to an emergency or in this case, something that a normal phone call could have resolved and if needed could have been a Code-2 service call.
    Now I understand smoke detectors and a *very* important live saving device, but I an so sick of peoples complete ignorance being encouraged.

    Signed, a member of the public who does not want a $100,000 fire engine with 4 full time employees wasted on a call to install a 9 volt battery.

  4. i get the feeling “realfirefighter” does not work anywhere real interesting or busy. instructing the public on common sense is not our responsibility

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