Cricket Alarm!

I may have mentioned it before: It’s hot! One side effect of this are the crickets you can hear all day long, starting as early as 7:30 or so. I don’t mind them although we have quite a bit of greenery around the house in which they are hiding and chirping; their sound quickly recedes into the background anyway.

Tuesday morning, however – I had just finished my morning round of kanji study and was sitting down in front of my laptop – a new sound was mixed in with the crickets, with a similar pitch and rhythm, but still different enough to be noticable. Somehow it sounded like it was only a single animal, and soon enough I became quite annoyed by it. After a while it stopped again, and with a thought of “Oh, the others finished you off” I could concentrate again on something else.

image of a smoke detectorImagine my surprise when I finally went downstairs a while later – and discovered a note from one of my housemates, tucked underneath a dismantled smoke detector: “I could find neither smoke nor fire, so I thought it was just an empty battery alarm and pulled it…”

Conclusion:

  • Not every animal is what it seems.
  • Our smoke detectors’ alarms are annoying, but not alarming (enough) – checking out the noise never entered my mind.
  • I hope any fire in our house starts when I’m out or at least not home alone.

Edit: I have now found out that the animals making all the noise around here are not called crickets, but cicadae. Sorry about my ignorance, I’m not really good with insects…

One thought on “Cricket Alarm!

  1. Interesting that the low battery alarm on Japanese devices is a cricket sound. The smoke detectors I know of have a singing bird as low battery warning sound.

    Be aware, the low battery alarm of modern smoke detectors is completely different to the emergency alarm. Just try to push the test button of the device (after replacing the battery) but be prepared that all apartments around will be alarmed. In fact, the test buttons should be used every couple of months to be sure that the real alarm is functional.

    On older devices the low battery alarm was not different to the emergency alarm. Several years ago, a neighbor and I decided to call the police after hours of annoying alarm from an apartment whose owner was out of the house. The daughter of my neighbor already had a headache from the loud noise. The police brought a locksmith who crack-opened the expensive safety lock and replaced it by a standard lock afterwards. Of course, the police kept the new key and left a note from which police station it could be fetched. Unfortunately, soon after that the apartment owner came back home, but nevertheless he had to pay for the new lock and didn’t get a compensation for the old one.

    So, when I got a smoke detector for my apartment I made sure that it got a non-annoying low battery alarm.