How to Not Activate the Fire Alarm: Looking at You Fleming-Hovlid

School has been in session since September 6th  and at time of writing this post, it is September 29th. In the time between the 6th and 29th, there have been four fire alarms. There was also a fire alarm that occurred the week before move-in day. That makes a total of five fire alarms that have occurred here at Fleming-Hovlid in just about a month.

One of these fire alarms we can disregard because it was just a routine fire drill. Which one was the routine fire drill? I have no idea because there have been so many. I was a resident in this building last year as well, and in the entire school year, we had only three fire alarms go off, two of which were just routine fire drills. Since there have been five fire alarms here are five things you can do to not set off the fire alarm.

Number One: Don’t have any candles in your room.

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No matter which residential building you move into you get a list of all the things you can and can’t have. One of those things you can’t have are candles. It is not that you will knock them over and in some Rube-Goldberg fashion they’ll light your bed sheets on fire, it is more that if you have a candle burning for long enough then blow it out it’ll release a large amount of smoke gradually over time. I assume at this point you are thinking “Well I have candles at home and they don’t set off the fire alarms” and this is true, but the fire alarms in the dorms are extremely more sensitive because a large amount of people need enough time to evacuate.

Number Two: Wait for your pan to cool before washing it.

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This tip refers to the most recent fire alarm. When cooking things tend to get hot and this is obvious. If things are hot then rapidly cooled in water this will create a large amount of steam. Yes, steam can also cause the fire alarms to go off. So, when you are cooking you should wait for the dishes to cool before washing them. This is also a good idea to avoid burning yourself because washing something hot is not a good idea.

Number Three: Don’t forget about your food.

Staying with the cooking theme here, do not forget about the food you are making. If you forget about it for too long it will start to burn then it’ll eventually start smoking. If you forget about it completely it’ll start on fire. So please, do something so that will help you remember you are cooking like set a timer on your phone or just stay in the kitchen which depending on what you are making you should probably do anyway.

Number Four: Avoid cooking on high heats.

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There is rarely a time that cooking on the highest heat setting is necessary. Unless you are pan frying a steak and going for a medium rare temperature with a charred outside or something similar you don’t need to use it. High heat tends to cause the grease in that pan to boil which will release a lot of steam and as we covered in tip number two steam can set off the alarms. So just avoid high heat settings. Of course, there are exceptions like if you are boiling water, so just use your better judgement.

Number Five: Use common sense.

If you find this tip as a cop-out tip and that I am just using it because I couldn’t think of another tip well you’d be correct. The point is I shouldn’t have to come up with five tips on how to not set of the fire alarms. Coming up with five tips to not set off a fire alarm that are not super obvious is pretty difficult because all the things that do it are pretty obvious. So, it should be easy to avoid setting the alarms off.

Hopefully these tips help, but more importantly hopefully the keep me from having to hear a fire alarm go off until the next routine fire drill.

-Eric

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