Burning Down the HousePosted: July 29, 2012
Last night my husband attempted to grill bratwursts. However, our dinner plan hit a hiccup when he couldn’t figure out how to light the propane grill that came with the vicarage house (the ignition cord wasn’t hooked up and there wasn’t an apparent way of reattaching it). After pondering over the grill for 10 minutes and texting the few people we know who could tell us how to start the grill, he gave up and decided to pan fry the brats. I left the kitchen to go work in one of the side rooms but a few minutes later my husband came in and said, “Um, the smoke detector is going to go off.”
Now, this wasn’t the first time my husband had smoked up the house while cooking meat. I braced myself for the alarm but was quickly relieved to see the my husband had already pulled the battery out of the detector. “Whew,” I thought to myself, “That was close.” Then the alarms went off ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE.
My husband and I have never lived in a place with more than one smoke detector, so hearing screaming alarms all around us was quiet shocking. I quickly grabbed a chair and and climbed up to pull the battery out of the detector in the side room. I yanked out the battery only to stare dumbfounded at the alarm as it continued to blare its warning. Not only did the builders of the house put a detector in every room, they had wired the system into the house so the alarms didn’t cease when the battery was out. We had no idea how to silence the detectors!
After a couple of minutes of racing around the house with alarms ringing everywhere we managed to open enough windows to start pulling the smoke out. Eventually the alarms quieted except for an occasional voice declaring, “Warning, low battery.” My husband then received a response on how to start the grill (apparently you light it with a lighter–weird) and dinner preparations continued without any more issues. Fortunately, no fire trucks visited our home.
While I admire the vigilance of the congregation members in relation to fire safety, we’ll have to figure out how to disarm the alarms when needed. This wasn’t the first time we’ve smoked up our home while cooking, it probably won’t be the last, and I really don’t want to be known as the family that almost burned down the vicarage house.