False Alarm

Thursday, August 19, 2010

When Peter called me mid-afternoon, I was happy and a little surprised to see his number pop up on the office phone display, since we aren't in the habit of calling one another at work. I was expecting him to be making plans for supper or sharing some juicy gossipy tidbit that just couldn't wait until after 5:00 (which we all know are the best ones. Gossip that can wait for hours to share is probably not worth it.)

"Did you leave any windows open in the basement?" was what he asked. Almost before I had a chance to say "No," he told me the security company had called his cell to let him know our alarm was going off and there was motion detected in the basement.

I instantly felt like barfing all over my desk as a movie reel of worst-case scenarios played in my head. We've been in the house for just one month and while our neighbourhood seems pretty safe and quiet, there are break-ins all over the city all the time and I've heard horror stories from friends whose homes and cars have been ransacked in spite of elaborate alarms, dogs, you name it.

There's something about a stranger being up in my business that makes my blood boil. Regardless of whether they steal anything or not, just the fact that they'd break a window or pick a lock or whatever robbers are doing these days, and be in my house when I'm not there, that is maybe the most infuriating thing of all. I don't even like the idea of someone being in our yard without an invitation. Maybe it makes me crazy territorial, but there's a fence around our backyard, and I like it. I like knowing, assuming, that when we leave for work every morning, our home and our property will be undisturbed until we get back. Hearing otherwise completely freaked me out.

Peter hung up to call back the security company and have the police go out to the house to check on things, and I tried to concentrate on work but all I could think about was the mess of broken glass on the floor, the things that could possibly be missing, the mess we'd have to deal with when we got home. I knew the windows had been closed and the doors had been locked. We're nothing if not obsessive-compulsive about locking up.

Then I tried to be positive and think of all the things that could have fallen over in the house to activate the alarm. But things don't just fall over midday...do they?

By the time Peter called back I had worked myself up into a state of near-hysterics. The police had been over and walked around the house, and all the windows were locked, the doors were secure, and nothing was amiss. HUGE sigh of relief.

But then I started thinking about all the other things that could set off a motion detector.

Needless to say, when I got home after work, I was still pretty freaked out and half expecting an episode of Animal Planet to trample me as soon as I opened the door, but there were no signs of wildlife to be found. We have this tipsy globe in the office and we're blaming that for the movement. Our first, and hopefully last, call from the alarm folks is behind us and I'm not anxious to receive another one. And if there IS a mouse in the house, I will die.

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  1. Amy, when we bought our house this happened to us. It turned out to be the batteries in the motion sensors and on the doors being very old.

    Maybe check them?

  2. We have someone from the security company coming to have a look at stuff for us tomorrow. I guess the sensitivity can be set way, way, super too high in them so we'll probably have it reduced.

  3. Just thinking of snakes and spiders in my house gives me the chills. I'm glad no one broke in and everything was okay!

  4. You and me both! The alarm guy came today to fix our settings...we should be all good now :)

  5. Just found your blog and I think it's awesome. :-)

    I totally freaked last year when I found a frog in our basement. Can't even imagine what I'd do with a snake... Hope you are critter free!

  6. Ohhh a frog would freak me out too!!