Never Thought I Would Find A Smoke Alarm Exciting!
I know, these smoke and CO alarms with their annoying beeps normally feel more like a nightmare, right?
Well, the other day which was more like 2 weeks ago, the smoke alarm in one of our rooms started making its noises, not the loud annoying, high-pitched one, but more like a softer, intermittent one as if it is saying, hey look up at me, I have something important to say. So we guessed that like the past few years, the battery was running out, and so we changed the battery. A few days later, the second alarm demands the same attention, so that too gets fed a new battery. Whew, we thought, we are good now!
Not so fast, thought our alarms. Over the next few days, one of them would go off, ( we now know these are called ‘chirps’ as against the high-pitched cacophony which is called a Beep in Alarm-land in America), then a few days later, the other would start chirping. So we did a merry dance, getting out the step stool, and calming them into silence. But this just did not end, the last episode last night at 2am finally forced us to remove the unit and actually look on the backside. And this backside is a beauty, in UX terms.
The font and contrast, the information packed in there, and most importantly, how to make sense of what the number of chirps mean (oh yes, there is a method to the madness here) – fantastic job. Especially when one has been scratching one’s head about the little noises, I now know that when my alarm chirped 4 times or 5 times, it meant that I had to replace the unit itself. Love it!
Now if they would only put some of this info on the front of the unit. So if the unit is chirping 4 times every few minutes, the front of the unit could have a small display that says “Change the unit”. That would save some frustration when one is woken up in the middle of the night.