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 a.m. 

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 all doors. 

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 official tone.

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 doors.” 

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.