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PIL took batteries out their smoke alarms

(40 Posts)
DirtyDancing Mon 30-Oct-17 14:35:23

AIBU to be very very cross? I don't want loads of traffic and risk this going 'public' so am posting in parenting for perspective and handling advice really.

We have been staying at my PIL since the kids were born and a few times since we were married. My eldest (4) has started staying on his own in the last 6 months, often with his cousins. All of us have stayed over at the weekend.

Today I was cooking and burnt some food badly. Smoke everywhere. The alarms should have, but didn't, go off. My FIL told me he took the batteries out. I asked when. He said 2 years ago. I told him that it was very irresponsible and that I was very cross he has put the lives of his Grandchildren at risk. He told me I was over reacting.

He is an intelligent man & well off enough so on both accounts should know better and can afford to have working alarms.

I am livid and it's caused a big fall out all round which is incredibly sad.

megletthesecond Mon 30-Oct-17 14:38:45

I wouldn't let the kids stay there anymore. (Ex fire service admin bod here). Smoke alarms are non negotiable.

I even check that other parents have them fitted before sleep overs blush.

Twickerhun Mon 30-Oct-17 14:41:12

I'd say you might have slightly over reacted. There might be better ways to convince him about safety measures.

DirtyDancing Mon 30-Oct-17 14:43:01

Megan thank you for your quick and straightforward response. I sense I am going to end up having to defend my position on this against FIL as 'head of the family' and I've not done anything wrong. I agree it's a non negotiable. He must know he's in the wrong and I suspect saying I'm over reacting was defence as a form of attack!

It's so stupid of him I can't get my head around it. All his grandchildren staying and no alarms. At the moment I feel completely unforgivable. But I am very angry.

DirtyDancing Mon 30-Oct-17 14:43:48

Megle sorry not Megan.. auto correct!

DirtyDancing Mon 30-Oct-17 14:44:50

Twicker.. I feel he's been disingenuous. Massive house, all singing all dancing Sonas, TV, heating controlled from his phone and these non working smoke alarms

Sweetpotatoaddict Mon 30-Oct-17 14:46:57

My mil was exactly the same, antique detectors with no batteries. Called her on it, and apparently I was over reacting. Next time we went to stay we brought her a supply and installed them. But yes in my book another example of how she doesn't prioritise her grandchildrens safety. YANBU

LoniceraJaponica Mon 30-Oct-17 14:47:09

"I'd say you might have slightly over reacted."

No she hasn't. I would be livid as well. Not having functional, working smoke alarms would be a deal breaker for me.

DirtyDancing can you arrange for the local fire brigade to pay them a visit and drum it into them how important smoke alarms are?

Do your in-laws have carbon monoxide alarms as well?

BenLui Mon 30-Oct-17 14:47:28

Not over reacting. Friends had a house fire (washing machine) After the alarm sounded the family had minutes to get out before the whole house went up.

I wouldn’t let them stay until they proved to me that smoke alarms were fitted and promised me that the batteries wouldn’t be removed ever again.

DirtyDancing Mon 30-Oct-17 14:51:00

Thanks for the support. Only other way I can put it is... would you let you kids ride in a car without seat belts?! Nope because it's dangerous. Surely this is the same.

He's put my babies at risk. I am so upset and cross

DirtyDancing Mon 30-Oct-17 14:51:44

You've got my thinking about carbon thingys as well- thanks

DirtyDancing Mon 30-Oct-17 14:53:51

Excellent idea about fire brigade!

Wellandtrulyoutnumbered Mon 30-Oct-17 14:54:24

Non negotiable for me.

Guiltybystander Mon 30-Oct-17 15:03:48

I took the batteries out of my smoke alarm (only the one in the kitchen) because everything triggered it and it became very annoying. I made a simple toast, it was not even burnt, alarm goes off like a siren at 7 in the morning. I was making steak at 9 pm, it sizzled etc, alarm went off like mad. You get the picture.
As long as there are no kids in the house only responsible grown ups who won't burns down the house, why have it?

ItchySeveredFoot Mon 30-Oct-17 15:07:31

Because accidents happen Guilty. What if there was a fire while you slept?

AngelaTwerkel Mon 30-Oct-17 15:09:24

"As long as there are no kids in the house only responsible grown ups who won't burns down the house, why have it?"

You're very naive to think fires start simply by carelessness.

Dealbreaker for me too, OP.

Tinty Mon 30-Oct-17 15:32:26

Guilty You don't need to take the batteries out of the alarm, just move the alarm to somewhere in the kitchen which isn't in the direct line of the heat from the oven or toaster, this is probably what is setting it off.

My smoke alarm used to go off all the time when I was cooking, we moved the smoke alarm and it only went off then when an actual fire from our chimney set it off. So very lucky we hadn't removed the batteries as we didn't see the fire, we just realised the chimney was on fire when the smoke alarm went off.

IDoLikeARainbow Mon 30-Oct-17 15:38:04

You can get different types of alarm, I think the optical one is for kitchen areas and shouldn’t be triggered by cooking.

BenLui Mon 30-Oct-17 15:38:13

Guilty washing machines, dishwashers, tumble driers and fridges can all go on fire.

Our friends’ house was raised to the ground by a washing machine fire. It was during the day and they heard it go bang. They barely had time to get out.

Anecdoche Mon 30-Oct-17 15:41:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlannaOfTrebond Mon 30-Oct-17 15:44:40

Guilty You should have a heat alarm in the kitchen rather than a smoke alarm. No false alarms and the room in the house most likely to combust is still covered.

annandale Mon 30-Oct-17 15:45:01

My FIL was fairly blasé about car seats and seat belts as well tbh.

Rather than arguing it with logic i would just state calmly that your children will only sleep in places where there are smoke alarms while you can ensure it. Then don't worry about it any more.

purpleleotard Mon 30-Oct-17 15:45:19

Perhaps I could suggest that you install a heat alarm in the kitchen as these are less likely to be triggered by smoke alone.
Ideally all alarms should be interlinked so if one is triggered they all sound.

Ttbb Mon 30-Oct-17 15:46:09

He has been an idiot. I would have been livid too.

FluffyNinja Mon 30-Oct-17 15:48:23

Bloody hell, he's a grade A stupid fool of a man!
We had a fire in our last house caused by an electrical fault with our Rayburn cooker/central heating. It was set to switch on about 6am and a short while later, our smoke alarm went off. Luckily, I was able to switch off the electricity and the oil supply and sort it out without calling out the fire brigade as the fire was still contained inside the cooker, but there was tons of smoke damage.
If the alarm hadn't woken me, I'd probably not be here today.
It's completely irresponsible to not fit working smoke alarms when it's so easy these days. I have 5 wired alarms throughout my current house. 1 is definitely not enough!
Yes to asking the Fire Brigade to visit them and to curtail visits until it's resolved.

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