Free Range (9/19/10)

A few months ago, I bought a combination smoke / carbon monoxide detector for the house. Last week, I finally got around to installing it in the bedroom. The unit is mounted approximately one foot from the southeast corner of the room. It’s out of the way of the ceiling fan, the window, and the cable box, so that circulated air and remote control signals won’t interfere with its operation. I followed the installation instructions to a T, and was awfully proud of myself until the unit started beeping uncontrollably. “Testing,” it announced before launching into a series of shrill noises. “The carbon monoxide level is zero.” These random outbursts continued throughout the week until I yanked the unit from the wall and set it down on the kitchen table, hoping it would cool out. “Testing,” indeed.

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