more ยป" />

Fire Alarms

by Meghann on August 24, 2010

There was a period back in college when some drunken college boys (or girls?) thought it would be funny to pull the fire alarm at my freshman dorm in the middle of the night. It happened at least half a dozen times my first semester at school. Sometimes during the week and sometimes during the weekend, but always when I was fast asleep in the early hours of the wee morning.

The alarm would instantly wake me from a deep sleep and force me to take the eight flights of stairs to wait in the grass in my pjs while the fire tucks came to make sure everything was ok. I was then forced to take the eight flights of stairs back to my dorm room and try to sleep the remaining couple of hours class.

It actually wasnโ€™t that bad. Yes, being woken up in the middle of the night and being forced outside was bad, but being forced outside with my cute male neighbor who just happened to sleep topless was not bad at all. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anywaysโ€ฆThose memories came flooding back when my office had our yearly fire alarm inspection/ testing just before eight this morning.  It was loud, scary, and forced me to eat my lovely breakfast outside when I couldnโ€™t take it any more. How rude.

I was at the gym this morning for an early boot camp and made it to work just as the fire alarms were going off.

I managed to take a few photos of the good before hightailing it to the sidewalk to join my co-workers outside. We were told we could stay inside, but, really, who wants to lose their hearing so early in the morning.


Luckily, my breakfast was easy to prep and 100% portable to eat anytime, anywhere.

I made a cheated version of Overnight Oats in a Jar.


I cheated because technically this jar wasnโ€™t โ€˜readyโ€™ to be overnighted just yet. I really wanted this combo for breakfast, but there was still a good amount of PB left. So, I cheated by moving the excess PB to some tupperware for another day and the container became the vessel for my yummy morning oats (1/2 cup rolled oats, almond milk, plain yogurt, cinnamon, raisins, butterscotch chips)


With Strawberries and Blueberries


Enjoyed while complaining about the ringing in my ears with my co-workers. Nothing brings co-workers closer than some good complaining. ๐Ÿ˜‰  

Unfortunately the fire alarm didnโ€™t last very long and Iโ€™m back at my desk ready for the day. Such a shame.

Have you ever pulled a fire alarm either by accident or as a prank?

My little brother was very adventurous as a small child. He got in trouble a lot โ€“ and I mean a lot, a lot โ€“ but Iโ€™ll never forget the one time when he was 4 or 5 and pulled the fire alarm at church. To my 10 year old self it was pretty embarrassing, but to my 25 year old self looking back it was pretty hilarious.

Everyone pretty much saw him do it, so there was no panic โ€“ just a lot of hand slapping. My poor Mom though, Iโ€™m pretty sure we didnโ€™t return to church for weeks after that.

1 britchickruns August 24, 2010 at 9:30 am

Noo I’ve never done the fire alarm thing! I have terrible memories..first year of uni, it kept going off in the towers where I was staying (like, literally it went off 3 or 4 times in 1 week\) – I was on the 13th floor, so walking up 13 flights of steps in the freeeezing weather was NOT fun, espec at 4am!!

2 Leianna August 24, 2010 at 9:34 am

College dorms and false fire alarms go hand in hand for me as well. Many nights in cold winter were spent outside and being threatened to stay outside sucked!

3 Anne @ a daily slice August 24, 2010 at 9:35 am

The fire alarm went off in the middle of the night in college and I was so disoriented that I couldn’t find shoes. I just went out anyway because you get majorly in trouble if you stay inside (obvi) and froze with bare feet in the snow. True story.

4 rebecca lustig August 24, 2010 at 9:36 am

confession: one time my roommate and i pretended we were sleeping so we wouldnt have to stand out in the cold in our pjs during a fire alarm test.

5 newleafeats August 24, 2010 at 9:37 am

The fire alarm was never “pulled” in our dorms. They just went off for one reason or another! Girl forgets to take plastic wrapping off microwave popcorn, someone decides to store something plastic in the oven, someone forgets to add water to their ramen noodles before nuking, and the simple fact that our dorm is a time bomb and the fire and carbon monoxide alarms were going off all the time seemingly without reason (except for that one time when there really was a gas leak and they had to evacuate the entire dorm and house everyone in area hotels for several weeks!)

6 Becca August 24, 2010 at 9:39 am

OMG remember the time it was pulled 5 times in one night and we had the really cute cop that used to yell at everyone!!
After quite a few drinks I might have pulled the alarm at Finnegans! Whoops! I remember it looking so tempting and apparently it had happened quite a few times and the next time we went in they had removed it from the wall.

7 runningwithsass August 24, 2010 at 9:40 am

I remember that happening in college!
where I used to teachw e had to have fire drills once a month, it got annoying!

8 NYCRunnerGirl August 24, 2010 at 9:48 am

You are so right about coworkers bonding over complaining. I think that is the favorite method of procrastination in my old office!

9 Kristy@ August 24, 2010 at 9:57 am

Butterscotch chips in your oats!?!? Great idea! ๐Ÿ˜‰
Never pulled the alarm, but I’ve wanted to…especially before a big test that I may not have been fully prepared for. ๐Ÿ™‚

10 Corey @ the runner's cookie August 24, 2010 at 9:59 am

Ha, never pulled a fire alarm but I was an RA in college and there were a few nights I was up at 3 am with a clipboard, ushering hundreds of kids out of a NON-burning building. Once the culprit was 2 girls making a frozen pizza in a small microwave. Yes, really.

11 silvershadow157 August 24, 2010 at 9:59 am

Oh my goodness, I totally remember the days of residence hall fire alarms…so miserable.

12 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine August 24, 2010 at 10:04 am

I love the idea of making OIAJ before the jar is empty…although OIAJ is always a good reason to eat as much PB as possible!! I’ve never pulled a fire alarm…too much of a goody two shoes ๐Ÿ™‚

13 Kelly August 24, 2010 at 10:13 am

Oh god I hated the fire alarms in college, they always seemed to go off when I was in the shower!

14 carly August 24, 2010 at 10:15 am

This reminds me of my junior year of college. The dorm building I was in had a community kitchen, so there was always someone burning something, forcing the entire building to trudge outside. One time, someone got the genius idea to make popcorn at 2 a.m. The microwave we had was so ancient, it wouldn’t beep or stop – you had to stay by it and just keep track of the time. Well, Idiot Girl (as we all named her) walked away, and the popcorn pretty much exploded. We all had to wake up and trudge outside. This was in the middle of winter, no less. We were out there for at least 45 minutes. I’m still unhappy about it.

15 Amy August 24, 2010 at 12:05 pm

This reminds me of a story I heard about a girl who microwaved (& burned!) M&Ms in her dorm room my freshman year … She was on the 14th floor, and floors 13,14 and 15 had to evacuate the building. Glad I wasn’t a part of that ! (and ugh… 45 minutes in the cold sounds miserable:-/)

16 Marina August 24, 2010 at 10:16 am

I think I would go crazy if somebody would wake me with the alarm! Sounds awful actually :))
OIAJ are the best, I can’t wait to have them, soon :))

17 lowandbhold August 24, 2010 at 10:22 am

I never really slept at the dorms because I had a room at my brother’s house, but I always heard horror stories about the fire alarms. The hot, topless neighbor thing sounds pretty decent though. Perhaps I missed out?

I’ve never pulled an alarm I don’t think.

18 Summah August 24, 2010 at 10:25 am

Um…I accidentally leaned up against a fire alarm at a fraternity house party…the lights kept flashing, sirens blaring, and the president of the fraternity had to get a key to turn it off. I passed the blame off on my boyfriend ๐Ÿ™‚

19 BBx2 - Mandy & jR August 24, 2010 at 10:33 am

I never pulled any fire alarms… but I know there were times as a kid that I was tempted – JUST to see what kind of reaction it would bring.. haha.

Brilliant idea with your overnight oats ๐Ÿ™‚ Nothing wrong with cheating… a little bit! Especially for the sake of nut butter!

20 Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice August 24, 2010 at 11:15 am

The exact same thing happened to me at my dorm freshman year. Someone would pull the fire alarm at 3AM everyday for a week in the middle of WINTER. It was AWFUL.

21 Chelsea at Striking Balance August 24, 2010 at 11:31 am

I can relate to the dorm fire alarms! Used to happen at least once a week! The sound of fire alarms still reminds me of those nights and gives me nightmares!

Never pulled a fire alarm myself though! Iwould be way too scared to do it as a prank, and luckily have never been in a situation where I had to pull it for real!

22 Heather August 24, 2010 at 11:34 am

Some boys pulled the fire alarm in college and I went outside in my winter coat to have eggs thrown at me. Delightful.

I also used a nut butter jar for my breakfast this morning – what a great use for them!

23 LiveForTheRun August 24, 2010 at 11:45 am

I hate that sound, I remember in the dorm alarms would be pulled and I think I lost half my hair and my hearing.

Lol – you’re jar wasn’t “ready to be overnighted.” Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands.

24 Amy August 24, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I had a similar college experience as several other commenters ๐Ÿ™‚ My sophomore year it was the worst, with several alarms pulled within a week…. all around 2am in the morning. The worst was once when the “pranksters” had broken into the fire extinguishers and sprayed it all up and down the hall … Which to our sleep-befuddled minds looked an awful lot like smoke, and scared the heck out of us…

Ah, college memories …

…And actually, your post reminds me that it’s probably time for us to test our smoke alarms at our house again. I’m sure the kitties will be thrilled ๐Ÿ™‚

25 Amanda August 24, 2010 at 12:05 pm

As a property manager, I’m the one who is resonsible for planning the annual fire drills (as well as quarterly fire alarm testing, but those are usually silent and strobes-only) AND the one who has to deal with false alarms and a grumpy fire department.

My favorite false alarm story was when an elderly lady pulled the fire alarm instead of pushed the handicapped button to exit the building. Not sure how she mixed up a huge silver button next to the door with a small red lever 5 feet away on the wall. Luckily someone saw her do it and immediately told me what happened so I could call the fire department and prevent the trucks from showing up!

26 Nic August 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Nope, no pulling the fire alarm here. Although, I was at the gym, and after doing some cardio for about 45 minutes, getting nice and sweaty, there was a scheduled fire drill! Did I mention it was the middle of a cold Minnesota winter (temps were below freezing) ๐Ÿ™‚ Not good timing on the gym’s part. Needless to say, it feel good to get back on the cardio machine and warm up!

27 hundredtenpounds August 24, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I guess when I was a kid I pulled the fire alarm at church. LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ Everyone was evacuated.

28 Amber@momsgottheruns August 24, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I never pulled the alarm. I always wanted to, though. For some reason growing up, I thought I’d be arrested or something! I’m not sure where I got that idea from…

29 Sherry August 24, 2010 at 12:32 pm

I hate fire alarms in the middle of the night, especially in hotels. Very embarassing. But I do love your little brother. Even if he is getting into alot of trouble:)

30 Stacey (The Habit of Healthy) August 24, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Oh no, I wouldn’t dare trigger a fire alarm on purpose!! I was such a wuss!

31 Lauren August 24, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Oh my, what a great way to start your day!! I’m always so afraid to go near the fire alarms in fear of accidentally setting one off.

Hope the rest of your days is a bit more relaxing.

32 Paige (RAN) August 24, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Oh man I hate office fire alarms!
Haha that’s awesome that you expedited the process of the OIAJ status. why not? Looks like a lovely breakfast ๐Ÿ™‚
I have never pulled a fire alarm – nor would I ever!!

33 Pearl Lee August 24, 2010 at 2:00 pm

hahaha! little brothers are fun, huh?

34 Lacey @ Lake Life August 24, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I’m jealous of your annual fire alarm! I work in a hospital and we have a drill every month. Also, the department I work in is on the “code” team so we have to report to the “location” with a fire extinguisher. It is always such a hassle!

35 Sana August 24, 2010 at 3:16 pm

My 5 year old sister did that at Staples one time! Hahaha we felt bad that the firemen still had to come to the store ๐Ÿ™

36 Sassy August 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Be glad you were wearing pj’s at the time! Some of us weren’t quite so lucky (caught).

At work though they never use the alarms overhead. We have to pretend to do everything on our checklist.

37 BroccoliHut August 24, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Ah yes, no undergraduate career is complete without at least a couple midnight fire alarms. I always hated shivering out there in my Elmo slippers.

38 Jenna August 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Omg I totally know what u mean about the college fire alarms!!

39 Allison K. August 25, 2010 at 8:33 am

My first year of college I was a vegetarian (pretty much unheard of in my group of friends in Idaho), one friday afternoon I was making a snack of chik’n nuggets, and added too much time to the microwave. I set off the fire alarm! As you know, with college dorms, everyone is evacuated. my friends still haven’t let me live it down, 9 years later!

40 shelly@campinggirlchronicals August 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I have never pulled a fire alarm but one of the autistic kids at our school has done it a few time. She hates the noise but is drawn to it regardless.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: