PDA

View Full Version : Let's all ignore the fire alarm


bhskittykatt
03-24-2014, 08:04 PM
So the other day I came home in the morning after my paper route and gym session to hear my upstairs neighbor's alarm going off. Okay...they had left their living room light on so I could sort of see in there and didn't see any smoke. I went inside to check on the animals and give my apartment a sniff test and didn't smell anything.

After a couple minutes I went upstairs to knock on their door, thinking maybe they burned breakfast or something and maybe they were too short to reach the button. The bedroom light was dark, and no one answered. It didn't seem anyone was home. So no one home, no one's cooking breakfast, and yet the alarm is going off...that's not supposed to happen.

So I called the fire department to come check it out. I looked upstairs and still didn't see any smoke, but I evacuated all the animals into my car and waited just in case it was about to hit the fan. Fire department came and grabbed a ladder to go up to their open window and check it out.

At this point I called Hubs.

Hubs: "Yeah, it was going off earlier this morning."
Wait, what?
Me: "So why didn't you do anything?"
Hubs: "Because it wasn't because of smoke."
Okay, Mr. Psychic, and how do we know this?
Hubs: "It's been chirping with a low battery for some time. I figured you'd heard it."

No, no I had not heard it.

I told the fire department, though by then they had already figured it out.

Now what gets me is not that the alarm went off due to low battery...the tenant is newish and my landlord is a pain to get a hold of (and we don't have on-site management). What gets me is that, between Hubs leaving for work and me coming home was 45 minutes. Sure, Mr. I-can-hear-faint-chirping-from-next-door had it figured out, but I doubt my neighbors did, and that time of morning was when all the 7-3 shift workers are heading out, and no one called it in before me. What if it hadn't been a false alarm? Everyone's just going to ignore it?

While I was trying to stuff a rat cage in the back of my car seat, the upstairs alarm going off (and with the window open, it was louder in the parking lot than in my apartment), the fire truck pulling up...one of my neighbors who parks next to me was just like "Good morning" and got in and drove off. No "Is everything okay?" No questioning the alarm and the fire trucks and me stuffing everything in my car. No concerned looks at all. Just off to work like any normal day.

If we ever have a real fire incident, I am very worried...

cindybubbles
03-24-2014, 09:23 PM
Do you live in a duplex or in the basement of someone's house?

Because we condo-dwellers regularly ignore the fire alarm, even going so far as to stuff earplugs into our ears, because it would be safer to wait for the fire trucks to come. Our new alarms are so loud, that kids no longer play with them anymore!

Of course we don't hear each other's smoke alarms, so I must assume that you are talking about that, and not the general fire alarms that I was talking about.

Aethian
03-24-2014, 10:37 PM
Wow...when I hear a fire alarm going off I give it to the count of 15, after that I'm looking for the source. I give the count cause the one in the kitchen is close to the stove and steam will set it off.

otakuneko
03-25-2014, 01:17 AM
The smoke detectors in my house chirp loud enough and often enough that if one of them has a low battery, and it starts chirping at night, it will wake you up and keep you up.

I'm guessing the low battery chirp on the ones you have isn't loud enough for that or the tenant would've replaced it... I know I would've!

Monterey Jack
03-25-2014, 01:19 AM
The hallway fire alarm in my apartment building goes off with annoying frequency, because I have neighbors who don't know how to cook properly and who open their doors following a stove mishap and allow enough smoke to escape into the hall to trigger them. And that fucker is LOUD. :mad: I'll admit to triggering my own alarm a few times due to my inability to cook, but at least I pull it off the ceiling and yank the batteries out when I do as I wait for the smoke to dissipate.

catcul
03-25-2014, 02:57 AM
When I first worked in the hospital, I was told to ignore the fire alarms. It made me nervous every time it went off. However, I was working in a heart clinic, a code blue (medical emergency) alarm went off in the treadmill room. I believe the entire medical staff descended on that room. I did what I could to stay out of their way.

KatherineB
03-25-2014, 05:03 AM
I pull it off the ceiling and yank the batteries out when I do as I wait for the smoke to dissipate.

Another option is to wave something like a book or a piece of card under the smoke detector and once that bit of the air is clear, it should stop screaming. Then you can just wait for the rest of the smoke to clear.

bhskittykatt
03-25-2014, 10:45 AM
Do you live in a duplex or in the basement of someone's house?
....
Of course we don't hear each other's smoke alarms, so I must assume that you are talking about that, and not the general fire alarms that I was talking about.

It's a 3 story apartment complex with outside entrances. We don't have general fire alarms, just individual unit alarms. I could hear theirs through the wall, and since their window was open I could hear it outside a full building away.


I'm guessing the low battery chirp on the ones you have isn't loud enough for that or the tenant would've replaced it... I know I would've!

Well Hubs said he heard it through the wall and that it was pretty loud. I didn't hear it, though, so I dunno. I know that chirping always annoys me to no end, so I always replace it pronto!

The hallway fire alarm in my apartment building goes off with annoying frequency, because I have neighbors who don't know how to cook properly and who open their doors following a stove mishap and allow enough smoke to escape into the hall to trigger them.

I actually broke the button on ours once because I set it off so many times with my "cooking". :o It's around the corner from the kitchen, so at least I can usually open the right windows and tweak the airflow to lead the smoke away from there pretty quickly.

That was my first thought when I heard theirs, which is why I waited a couple minutes at first, and why I physically went up there to check on them. It was when I realized no one was home to be cooking in the first place that I started to get worried and called it in.

smileyeagle1021
03-25-2014, 03:20 PM
When I first worked in the hospital, I was told to ignore the fire alarms. It made me nervous every time it went off. However, I was working in a heart clinic, a code blue (medical emergency) alarm went off in the treadmill room. I believe the entire medical staff descended on that room. I did what I could to stay out of their way.

I worked at a call center that gave us the same instructions... ignore the fire alarms (unless there is an obvious danger like a smoke smell or similar)... and it was a valid warning, it was a massive building and any alarm would trigger the building wide alarm, and even in a real emergency, we had a program on our computers that could not be deactivated for sharing important updates from management (most of the time it was fairly mundane stuff, looking for people to work OT, looking for people who want to go home early, reminder, the fridges in the first floor break room will be cleaned out at 3, anything left in those fridges will be thrown out, etc), and by the time it took someone close to where the alarm was triggered to verify the emergency and get back to send out the evacuate message on the updater, we would merely have 3 to 4 times as much time as needed to evacuate rather than 5 or 6 times.

dalesys
03-25-2014, 06:31 PM
... have 3 to 4 times as much time as needed to evacuate...
First you SAY it, then you DO it!
[/Cos]

sms001
03-25-2014, 07:47 PM
If we ever have a real fire incident, I am very worried...

I'd be just the opposite; no one gonna pay attention but me? Sweet! I can get out of danger that much faster. :devil:

DGoddessChardonnay
03-25-2014, 09:29 PM
I'd be just the opposite; no one gonna pay attention but me? Sweet! I can get out of danger that much faster. :devil:


That would be me. . . fire alarm going off at work - and my desk is right at the side door where the vendors come in from the ramp - all I have to do is grab my coat and . . . whoosh, I am GONE.

Just text me when it's safe to come back in - otherwise I'll be out in the far end of the parking lot (preferably near the road where Domino's pizza sits) waiting for the fire trucks.:wave:

I don't play around with fire alarms. Even we're told by management to evacuate if we hear them. Turns out the last time the fire trucks came to my store was right before I showed up there 7 1/2 years ago - some idiot was pressure washing in one of the coolers and the back room (and also the meat cutting room) started filling up with noxious fumes.:eek:

cindybubbles
03-25-2014, 09:32 PM
It's a 3 story apartment complex with outside entrances. We don't have general fire alarms, just individual unit alarms. I could hear theirs through the wall, and since their window was open I could hear it outside a full building away.

My condo complex has three 3-storey low-rise buildings and one 18-storey high-rise building. Each of our units has one individual ear-piercing fire alarm, but we also have one out in the hallway.

When any of them sound, we can't do anything about it, except plug our ears and keep them plugged until the fire department comes in, puts out whatever fire there was, and shuts them off.

otakuneko
03-26-2014, 12:25 AM
Speaking of fire alarms at workplaces, the ones at my office are downright painful. I have to get out. Problem is, there's two ways out, and each one takes my right by at least one of the alarms, which when you get near it really does cause physical pain.

raudf
03-26-2014, 07:32 AM
It's a known fact that when I cook, the smoke detector will go off. No smoke and it will still go off. I suspect that it senses that I am cooking and randomly picks a time to go off during the cooking period. I hate the person that decided the living room detector had to be at the entry way to the kitchen, next to the stove.

Mind outside my house, I will likely leave if I hear a fire alarm. Usually businesses will warn you if they are running a drill and they'll do it before doing it. If not, well, I'll be leaving mkay?

bunrotha
03-26-2014, 01:39 PM
This is a common pain in the arse where fire alarms go off too much.

Last-but-one job had Facilities (the bogs and boilers dept) replace the odd alarm sounder so the resulting cacophony was painful enough to move the "nah, not unless there's smoke" brigade.

Then we had the sprinklers. These were filled from the adjacent canal. Evil water-based fluid. Think River Ankh. They let it be known that the sprinklers might go off with any given fire alarm, and people moved much quicker.

Finally, we had the rugby fire marshals. Yours truly got fire marshal training on the basis I'm big enough and horrible enough, and was senior enough, to throw people bodily down the fire escape if it came to it. I never got to, but I was authorised to menace people loudly if necessary to make them evacuate. Since my dad was once an airfield fireman, I heard enough stories as a kid to respect fire alarms every single time. I was motivated.

Back when I was on FB, I remember a group called something like "The next time the fire alarm sounds, something better be BURNING" which some of my dept joined. I offered to light their desks on fire if they felt that strongly... yes I was kidding.

raudf
03-26-2014, 06:58 PM
And if there was a real fire.. you'd have a certain percentage of idiots posting about it to FB or Twitter before evacuating. Death by Social media should get it's own form of Darwin Award.

dalesys
03-26-2014, 07:03 PM
... Death by Social media should get it's own form of Darwin Award.
That would be OMGWTFBBQ, right?

thatcrazyredhead
03-26-2014, 11:43 PM
This reminds me of a time my parents were staying with me when I lived alone. My dad was leaving for work, and I was awake enough to see him, but not enough for my brain to process it properly. I thought I saw a strange man dressed all in black coming in my front door. I'm told I shrieked bloody murder, but I don't remember doing it or even hearing it. My dad said, "IT'S OK, IT'S ME!" and I stopped screaming. It took a good long while for everybody's heart rate to go back down to normal, but none of my neighbors called the police or even came by to check on me. My mother said I could have been brutally murdered in that apartment and no one would have cared.

greek_jester
03-28-2014, 10:05 PM
This is a common pain in the arse where fire alarms go off too much.

That brings to mind a story from before we moved into our nice, newly built office with actual windows and all offices fully above ground level.

In our firm we have the fire alarms tested once a week. The partner in charge of organising fire safety (among other maintenance-type things and the business recovery a.k.a. liquidations dept.) A.T., has an evil sense of humour, and that sometimes bleeds through into his scheduling of surprise fire drills *cough* 6 inches of snow *cough*

One week the alarms briefly went off as scheduled, went silent for about a minute, then came back on and stayed on. My office all duly stared at each other, a bit baffled, then collectively went "bugger it" and headed for the fire exit. Hey, 15 minutes outside on a nice sunny morning, much better than the partially-buried dungeon our office was stuck in!

Eventually the rest of the building trickled out, looking rather sheepish, to be given a bollocking by A.T. for ignoring a fire alarm - including the top partner of the entire firm! :devil: Needless to say our department was soundly praised for following fire safety procedures so promptly :angel:

wolfie
03-29-2014, 02:29 PM
I'll admit to triggering my own alarm a few times due to my inability to cook, but at least I pull it off the ceiling and yank the batteries out when I do as I wait for the smoke to dissipate.

Another option is to wave something like a book or a piece of card under the smoke detector and once that bit of the air is clear, it should stop screaming. Then you can just wait for the rest of the smoke to clear.

Virtually all modern smoke alarms have a "silencer" circuit. Push and hold the test button for a second or so, and it'll operate at a reduced sensitivity for around 10 minutes. Too many people were taking the batteries out to silence nuisance alarms, and forgetting to put them back. This is also why modern alarms have a "finger" that pops out and prevents the "guts" from being installed on the ceiling bracket unless the battery is in place.

I never got to, but I was authorised to menace people loudly if necessary to make them evacuate.

Menacing people in order to make them evacuate? Does this mean your job description actually included scaring the shit out of people?:D

bunrotha
03-29-2014, 03:58 PM
Menacing people in order to make them evacuate? Does this mean your job description actually included scaring the shit out of people?:D

Bloody right it did. 280lbs of rugby player (ok, lard in a shirt and tie, I admit it), wielding a CO2 extinguisher, inviting recalcitrant co-workers to move or be moved NOW, years before Terry Tate professionalised it. I am told the army missed out on a sergeant with my voice. Pulling the power cable out the back of a monitor was also very effective to the clueless.

wolfie
03-29-2014, 07:19 PM
The smilie was because I was making a pun on the 2 meanings of "evacuate" (the medical meaning is a fancy way of saying "to take a dump". If someone were to read your initial post and interpret "evacuate" in the medical, rather than the fire safety, sense of the word, it would be saying (literally) that you scared the shit out of them.

siead_lietrathua
03-30-2014, 02:12 AM
ugh. stupid fire alarm people. had one similar to the OP. hubs and i had an apartment that was kinda like all the rooms in a line. one night when we got home, we chilled for a while on one end of the line before going to bed on the other (for lack of a better way to put it)
when we got to bed, heard weird, faint chirping noise. opened window, and realized an alarm downstairs was going off.
for context, small old building with only a few apartments, but soundproofed floors and seperate entrances for each floor.
we went downstairs, and into the lower floor entrance. not only heard the alarm clearly, but people on that floor were in the hall, just blank sheep staring at the door with the alarm going off. asked them how long it had been going... more than 20 mins. asked if they called the FD. uhhhh no. siigh.
called the FD. turns out the idiot living there tried to make mac and cheeze while stoned off her gourd and passed out. cooking pot had burned enough there was a hole in the bottom. FD were not happy campers to have to deal with that horseshit, neither was landlord.
i just can't belive none of the sheeple called the FD.

bunrotha
03-30-2014, 02:17 PM
The smilie was because I was making a pun on the 2 meanings of "evacuate" (the medical meaning is a fancy way of saying "to take a dump". If someone were to read your initial post and interpret "evacuate" in the medical, rather than the fire safety, sense of the word, it would be saying (literally) that you scared the shit out of them.

D'oh. *Now* I see what you did there. I must be being slow, sorry.