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I didn't get a lot of sleep last night.

It was Halloween night. We didn't get a single trick-or-treater. No one, thankfully, egged our house and our pumpkins that were carved with care were in one piece as I left for work this morning.

In theory, it sounds like a perfect Halloween, and it was until 2 a.m. when our smoke detectors decided they would rather be heard and not just seen.

Our initial response of course was fire. My husband bolted up and went out to the living room while I slowly tried to gain consciousness.

There was no smoke, not even a haze. He checked the oven. It was off. He even looked outside. Nothing.

After a few choice words and frantic fanning with a pillow, the detectors went silent and we went back to sleep.

Fast forward 20 minutes and it was the same routine. Smoke alarm, no smoke and then silence. It was starting to get personal.

We put a fan up blowing air toward the detectors, which managed to make them go off every 30 minutes versus every 20 minutes. Not much of an improvement.

In short, it made for a very long night. Once I got to work, I called up the battalion chief over at the Billings Fire Department, who informed me it could basically be one of two things: a dirty detector or a dying one.

The 2 a.m. solution: hit the detector with a baseball bat, silencing it forever. That solution was vetoed.

The practical solution: vacuum or dust the detector and change its batteries. Hopefully that will work so we can catch up on some much needed sleep this afternoon. If not, maybe we'll have to go back to the 2 a.m. solution and call it good.

Contact Chelsea Krotzer at or 657-1392