Last night, Andrew was making dinner, and the smoke alarm went off. Normally, you open some windows, fan the smoke away from the detector, problem solved.
The previous owner of our home had a home alarm installed. If the fire alarm or the home alarm was triggered, it would broadcast the alarm to the whole. Entire. Neighborhood.
Despite all of the stuff I've burned, and all the smoke I've managed to get going in the house, I have never triggered the smoke alarm. It took us a few minutes to realize that the smoke alarm wasn't just annoying us, it was alerting the whole. Entire. Neighborhood.
There was a bit of drama getting it quieted down, but the heartwarming thing is this: all of our neighbors came to make sure that we were all okay. There was three waves of concerned neighbors, which means that everyone checked for themselves, instead of assuming that "someone else" would check.
I have incredibly strong feelings about "someone else". I'm usually the person who says something, makes the call, or goes to check. I know that in the horror movie version of the world, this dooms me, but it's just who I am. I'm terrified at the thought that we'll all "someone else" and while everyone stands around with a concerned ear, passing the buck to "someone else", nobody will help.
I always think, "Well, I *am* someone else."
So, while Andrew was working on finding the code again (which he did), I got to chat with the neighbors and assure them that we were fine, and tell them about our few days in the house. (How the POLICE came to check while I was moving the first load of stuff into our new house, alone, looking punky and disreputable with my pink hair back in a bandanna.)
Our newest neighbor mentioned how glad she was to see all the turnout for our alarm, and how much better it made her feel. I'm really glad that our neighborhood is extraordinary in that it's full of "someone else"s.