This morning I wake up, stagger to the kitchen, grab the coffee filter, and open the front door to let the dog out and dump the grounds into the garden, and all hell breaks loose. Everything in my house that could sound an alarm, does. I have three kids that stayed the night (6 kids total) and they all wake up terrified, crying, thinking the house is on fire.
Here's the thing: I don't have an alarm system. I mean, there's one that came with the house, but we don't have an alarm service. So there's no code I can enter, there's no tech support I can call to figure out how to disarm this. The dog starts howling, the cats are moaning, and the kids are yelling at one another. My husband is TOTALLY unhelpful (and is also over 1200 miles away.) I find the number for the alarm monitoring service on a placard that was put in a window by the original owners. That # now goes to a sex hotline.
I couldn't make this up if I tried.
I try disconnecting the fire alarms, no good. I go to the main power source for the alarm (*remember, the power is out on the block) and disable the main power line for the alarm. That makes a Klaxon warning siren sound to add to the fun. Tripping the breaker to that part of the house does nothing, btw.
After 15 minutes and random button pushing, it all goes off. The power comes back on. I guess that these two things are related.
Two hours pass. The power cuts out again (they're doing rolling blackouts to help distribute power up here) and it all goes off again. Oh my effing gee. I look up the panel online (I still have my good ol' iPhone) and see that there's a tech support #. Aaaaaand they're no longer in business. Of course. My son decides to go to the garage and get a new jug of milk which sets off ANOTHER alarm.
I unscrew the control panel by the front door and there is a HORNETS NEST IN THE WALL.
SERIOUSLY. I am not joking. I find a tiny eyeglass screw driver, unscrew EVERYTHING from the panel/motherboard and that one goes silent. I go to all of the other boxes and do the same thing. I should mention that I have vaulted ceilings, so I can't reach most of the fire alarms to turn them off, but they go silent when I go back to my closet and remove every single wire to the alarm panel.
If ever there was a reason to drink, this would be it. It's not even noon yet. There are supposed to be brown outs all day long. I hope I got all of the wires, good hell. (Oh and the older cat, Hope, pooped in her fright. OK, that's funny, even I can see that.)
SEND DRUGS. AND EAR PLUGS. AND WARM WEATHER. AND AN ELECTRICIAN. [ETA] Heard from one visiting child's parents just now that they had a similar situation happen with their smoke detectors. At 3am. And 5am. They disconnected the fire alarms to keep them from triggering, and have everyone on High Alert to monitor any smoke, etc. Good lord, what a mess.