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Alarming lesson: read the fine print

Earlier this week our family was awakened when the hallway smoke detector went off at 2:34 a.m.

My husband and I jumped up, stumbled around, our son came into our room with his hands over his ears yelling our names, I tripped over Bella, our black German Shepherd as she came into the bedroom and then my tall husband grabbed the detector from the ceiling and ripped the battery out of it. We turned on the lights, looked around, sniffed for smoke, shrugged –and returned to bed.

I replaced the battery the next day and put the detector back in its place. It went off at 3:34 a.m. the next morning. After taking the battery out AGAIN, I fumbled for my reading glasses and read the fine print on the back of the detector: “Unit should be replaced by 2006.”

Yesterday I bought two new smoke detectors and a new CO detector, too. Each summer and winter equinox the batteries will be replaced and I will review all the fine print. Sweet dreams.

(S-R archives photo)

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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