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The Wrong Trousers


I can’t quite remember the plot of The Wrong Trousers (1993), so perhaps it is time to watch it again. The title comes to mind because I was up for an hour or more last night changing the battery in the smoke alarm and one of the delays was that it turned out the first one I did was the wrong smoke alarm. D’oh!

Jane woke me because she heard the alarm bleeping intermittently. Every 40 seconds, according to the manual, which is more than enough to be annoying. We’ve got wired-in smoke alarms but they still rely on a back-up battery in case there’s a power failure. At least the alarm at the top of the stairs is easy to reach from a chair, I thought, as, in my bleary state I wanted to act cautiously. It wasn’t immediately apparent how to pop the alarm off so I popped downstairs and checked the instructions. Turn off the power, it said, and consult user manual. I remembered where the trip switch was in the consumer unit but I had the installation instructions and, after a search through all the rest, I couldn’t find a user manual so had to log on and find one online.

In truth, it didn’t add a lot, but I went ahead, turned off power to the smoke alarms, eventually managed to figure out how to take it off the mount (insert flat-headed screwdriver and then the bit which wasn’t so obvious – lever up to release the catch rather than pushing), changed the battery, reinstalled to the mount and put the power back on. Beep! For some reason that hadn’t worked. I noticed the user manual mentioned testing after refitting – perhaps there was a chip monitoring that had been done? Power off, test (all good), power on. Beep! I’d used an Amazon basics 9V battery that was delivering spot on 9V and the one I’d taken out (Duracell) had been down below that but the manual suggested only Duracell or Energizer batteries. Perhaps that made a difference? I had one in my guitar case so yet another swap round. Beep!

It was only at this point that it struck me that perhaps it was the alarm at the bottom of the stairs that was beeping. Guess what – changing that (with the battery from the first alarm) did the trick. As a precaution, I think I’ll get some more 9V batteries in and swap out the swapped one. The middle of the night is definitely not the time to be doing DIY tasks and I could have been back to bed much quicker if I hadn’t fixed the wrong smoke alarm.

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