After enjoying an evening out, we returned home to our children (our oldest was babysitting) and a high-pitched, ear-piercing sound. The boys immediately explained that something must be wrong with our television. As I moved through the room, however, I quickly discerned that the sound was actually coming from somewhere else. Using my ears as a guide I turned down our main hallway towards the bedrooms. I realized what the alarm was as I stepped in several inches of water. It was our basement water-heater alarm!
After one of our boys had used that toilet, the valve had not shut off, the toilet overflowed, and we figure it had been overflowing for as much as an hour. We had two to three inches of water in two bedrooms, three closets, the hallway, the bathroom, and it had seeped through an air vent into the basement and into our main heater/air conditioning unit. Needless to say, it was a long night and several days of extracting water from our home. Now we all know exactly what that water-heater alarm sounds like! And we won't miss it again.
By the way, a water alarm is just a small box that you set on the floor. I purchased it for about $10 at Home Depot after our parent's water heater failed and flooded their basement. I place the water alarm on the floor next to our water heater. If there is ever water on the floor, the water makes the connection between the two terminals and sounds an alarm. These alarms also work great in bathrooms where kids regularly overflow toilets. :o)
Thanks for the important reminder, Gary. Some alarms that you might want to sample for your family: fire, carbon monoxide, water, security system, and/or window & door alarms.