Tag Archives: Smoke Alarms

Microwaves, smartphones, peanut butter, and sleep walking

For some reason my sleep-walking has become worse over the past few weeks. Besides the usual things like rearranging the towels, or being found sitting on the edge of the bed, or waking up on the toilet, I have awoken in the kitchen after microwaving my smartphone.

When my husband Matt has found me sitting on the edge of the bed, I tend to be talking to myself. Sometimes he can understand what I am saying, but mostly I am mumbling gibberish. Eventually I return to laying down in the bed, and in the morning have no recollection of the incident.

I can understand being asleep on the loo. Obviously I have gone there to do my business, and well I just don’t leave for some reason. It is not a good place to sleep for any length of time, when I do wake up, my ass is sore, to be blunt. Toilet seats need to be heated and cushioned.

The other night I found myself in the kitchen. I had filled the dog treat jar (an old cookie jar) with water. Did I turn on the tap or take the jug of water from the refrigerator? Haven’t a clue. We use a butter bell for our butter. I found I had filled the bottom half of the container which is supposed to house the water, with butter. Again, I don’t know why. What woke me this time? Apparently I had been trying to open the jar of peanut butter but didn’t succeed. Now I don’t even like peanut butter all that much, we have it mainly for the dogs. Cocoa won’t take his daily arthritis medicine without a scoop of peanut butter.

The most interesting sleep-walking experience of 2015 is when I mistook my beloved Blackberry Z10 for a heating pad (the ones you can toss in the microwave or freezer). I have been in a lot of pain since Christmas, having done far too much with not enough rest. My pain level was reaching unmanageable levels, so I was sleeping with two heating pads on my back. Sometime during the night, I assume after they had cooled off, I placed both of them on the headboard above the bed.

Next well still asleep, I picked up my smartphone (again something I normally do when walking down the stairs at night, it has a flashlight I turn on so I won’t fall, but then I placed it in the microwave. I can only assume I thought it to be my new heating pad as I entered the time of 2 minutes and 20 seconds – the time it takes to warm the pads up. After about say a minute and thirty seconds, I saw flames in the microwave. My smartphone was on fire! I opened the door, smoke bellowed out, but realizing oxygen just makes the fire worse, I slam the door closed, and turn off the microwave.

The smoke alarms are blaring as I grab a soaking wet cloth, open the door again, and toss the cloth on the phone. The flames are out so I toss my Blackberry in a pot of water, which had been left in the sink to soak from the previous night’s dinner. At the same time the young man and my husband have run downstairs. The young man was thinking he could be the hero, saving us all from a fire, only to find his mother, me, standing by the sink saying WTF over and over. The young man is disappointed and believe what I have just done.Hubby goes around opening windows, and turning on our ceiling fans, in effort to remove the toxic smoke that has filled the first floor of our house.

I cut my smartphone out of the otter box, which had melted just a little. I’m a mess, still saying “WTF, how in the hell could I have mistaken my phone for a heating pad”. My husband takes the phone from me, and removes the back off to see if my SIM card or media card have survived. Well the SIM card pretty much melted but my media card seems to be alright. Matt takes my media card and inserts it in his phone, and finds it works perfectly well. There is some good news, my photographs are all there, my contacts, etc., but I’m stunned by what has happened, not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

My Blackberry Z10 after being microwaved

Note: Never ever open the microwave door when there is a fire inside, unplug it. Also never microwave your phone.

They were sleeping peacefully – A Carbon Monoxide story

Ray of Sun
A number of years ago, I was woken by a strange beeping noise, being only half awake, I wandered throughout the house searching for the sound, when it finally dawned on me – it was our Carbon Monoxide Detector. I immediately dialed our gas company (first mistake) and they told me to open all the windows to air the house out and then call the Fire Department. I dialed 911, and reported that our Carbon Monoxide Detector was beeping. Immediately I was asked if there was anyone else in the house? It was the middle of the night, my husband was at work, I was not fully awake thus not thinking properly, because I responded with yes, my children and told him “they were in their beds sleeping peacefully”. Just as I finished this sentence, I realized this is bad, since carbon monoxide makes you sleep. While still on the line, the Fireman tells me to go wake them, I run to their bedrooms. Thankfully, I was able to wake them up. Note: We have 2 Carbon Monoxide detectors and Smoke Detectors in every room in the house, since nothing seems to wake my kids when asleep. I was told to take them outside and the Fire Department was already on its way.

I sat my children outside and tried to explain to them what was happening and in a couple of minutes we would hear sirens. When the Fire Department arrived, two checked on my kids while three others, in full respiratory gear entered the house with their Carbon Monoxide detectors, but since I had opened the windows (second mistake), everything checked out fine, meaning they were not able to find the cause/reason for the detector sounding off. It would be a few weeks later, when the Carbon Monoxide detector would go into full alarm again, this time it was during the day and my husband was home. He determined a faulty dryer was the problem.

What I should have done that night the Carbon Monoxide Detector sounded: first wake your kids and take them outside, second phone your local Fire Department. Do not open windows because they will not be able to determine whether or not there is Carbon Monoxide in the air. Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer, you can’t smell it, you can’t see it, you can’t taste it. It makes you sleep until finally it takes your life.

In Canada, on November 3rd, 2013, Daylight Savings Time ends and we turn our clocks back an hour. This is also the date when we should be changing the batteries in both the Carbon Monoxide Detectors and our Smoke Alarms. If you have a Smoke Alarm that is hard-wired into your house you still need a battery operated one, because if the electricity is off, the hard-wired Smoke Alarm will NOT work.

Do you regularly change the batteries in your alarms?