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Updated 2 hours ago
Remember when automobile anti-theft alarms were new to the world? Back then we would, upon hearing that deliberate honking and those wailing sirens, react by searching for the source. Driven, in part by a sense of duty but, mostly out of curiosity, we would try to get a glimpse of the thief or maybe even prevent the theft.
But, time changes things. Nowadays when we are out and about and we hear that familiar noise we think or even say aloud — somebody shut that stupid thing up. What used to be a warning to which we reacted with curiosity, urgency and caring has become a barely tolerable annoyance.
Meanwhile in the home, many of us have developed a similar dislike for the smoke detectors we have in our kitchens. But, in our haste to end the ear splitting agony of that alarm we are often quick to disable the thing — a potentially deadly mistake.
Smoke detectors, when placed in the kitchen, are exposed to smoke because, let's admit it, we all burn the bacon from time to time. Sure we can wave a dish towel in front of the alarm to clear the air. But that fix is normally so temporary that we wind up spending more time fanning the smoky air than flipping the flapjacks. So in order to get back to cooking, we commit the ultimate no-no and pop out the battery.
Look, I get as hungry as anybody. I want to cook and eat and not be bothered with the screaming smoke detector. But I also want to do what I can to protect my home and family. In order to get the best of both worlds, I installed a battery operated smoke detector with a “Hush” button in my kitchen.
The “Hush” feature allows me to, at the touch of a button, enjoy an extended period of silence while leaving the working parts of the detector intact. If the smoke persists the alarm will eventually go off again but may be repeatedly hushed by simply retouching the button.
Installing the alarm is simple. I suggest placing it where it is relatively easy to reach, which will make hushing those nuisance alarms that much quicker. Always follow the manufacturers' recommendations when selecting proper placement and never be stingy on battery quality.
Do car alarms prevent theft? Who knows? My guess is that they might annoy a thief enough that he decides to go steal a car without an alarm, so there's that. But smoke detectors do, indeed, save lives and thanks to cool advancements like hush button technology, that lifesaving potential is even greater.
Ed Pfeifer is the owner of Pfeifer Hardware Inc., 300 Marshall Way, Mars and a freelance columnist for the Tribune-Review. If you have questions, call the store at 724-625-9090.
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