I’m an early riser, so on the Saturday in
question I was sitting on my couch watching TV and sipping
my second cup of coffee, when suddenly we lost power at 8
My wife and I exchanged bemused glances when just as
suddenly the power came back on. It occurred to me that the
pool was most likely on the same power grid as my house,
and that the power outage, no matter how brief, had
probably killed our recirculation pumps.
I quickly dumped my coffee into a travel mug and grabbed
my keys. I was sure I was saving myself a call from that
day’s manager-on-duty. As it turned out, that
wasn’t the call I had to worry about.
I drove right up to the back entrance of our pump room,
opened the door and poked my head in. The pumps were fine,
so I casually closed the door, completely forgetting that
upgrades to our alarm system from the previous week armed
As I drove home, my phone began to ring. I
didn’t recognize the number so I didn’t
answer. When I got home the phone rang again. This time my
caller ID showed that it was our local 911-dispatch
center’s nonemergency line, so I answered.
“The alarm company was unable to contact you so
they referred the call to us, and we have deputies en
route. Are you able to respond?” she asked in an
My heart instantly sank. “What time was the
alarm tripped?” I asked, already knowing the
answer. As I was hanging up with dispatch, my
wife’s phone rang. It was my program
superintendent, who was next in line on the alarm
company’s call sheet, phoning to tell me the alarm
was going off and to see if I could respond.
I quickly drove to work and was met by a deputy poking
around the pump room door. “Is this where the
alarm was tripped”? I asked.
“Yeah,” he replied, “but the
door seems secure to me.”
We entered the building, and I quickly disarmed the
alarm. As we were walking out, he said, “I
didn’t think you had an alarm on the front
Turning a bit red, I told him that we had just upgraded
the system. “Huh,” he replied,
“must have been some kind of short. You should
keep an eye on it for the next few days.”
If he only knew.