Yes, I know smoke alarms are supposed to keep people safe. Yes, I’d love for my smoke alarm to keep me safe in the event of an actual fire. Problem: the only four times it has gone off since I moved here, there was no fire.
Case one: I was making an egg sandwich. This is not unusual for me. I make one as often as I can. Never had problems before, home, or at the apartment. Was halfway through cooking the egg. There were no errant egg bits or any smoke or burnage issues. In fact, the egg was, as I stated, only half cooked. All of a sudden my smoke alarms (yes, there are three alarms within a five feet radius) all start blaring. I run to the back door, open the door, and wave at the smoke detectors with a potholder until they shut up. I then proceeded to look in the living room and bedroom for a fire. No fire. I then go back to my eggs, leaving the back door wide open. The range fan was on, by the way.
Case two: I was making fish. You know, in a pan, on the stove, with vegetable oil. It steamed slightly in the beginning, but had since cleared completely, through the range fan, perfectly fine. All of a sudden, part way through cooking my fish, I get that same annoying blaring sound. See, the alarms aren’t all on the same pattern- they beep at different times, and it’s really shrill and high-pitched. So I run to the back door, open it, and repeat the pot holder wave with a pillow (hey, it was closer). I left the back door open and finished my fish.
Case three: This one doesn’t even involve the stove. I was microwaving macaroni and cheese leftovers. I popped in a big bowl of it for a couple of minutes, fairly standard procedure. The timer dinged, I opened the microwave, I took the macaroni out of the microwave, walked to my couch, and all of a sudden, the smoke alarm blares. This time I check for a fire (especially because the alarms DIDN’T go off the last time I made popcorn- which DID smoke and steam a little). No fire. So I opened the door again, and waved at the alarms until they shut up.
Case four: Last weekend, I took a shower while my mom was over, and we were talking, so I left the bathroom door open. No smoke alarm went off that day. So, tonight, I was listening to music, left the shower door open so I could hear my radio, and hopped in the shower. A minute into shaving my leg (about 4 minutes into the shower), the alarm started blaring! I wrapped myself in a towel, flung the back door open, and used another towel to wave at the alarms until they shut up. Then, after checking for a fire, I closed the back door, went back to the bathroom, and cleaned up my blood from the stupid smoke alarm making me cut myself shaving. It was really really irritating. I didn’t even get to finish my shower for fear it would happen again. Ugh!
I guess my main concern is that I have a sprinkler system. You know what sprinklers don’t mix well with? Laptops. External hard drives. My husband’s keyboard. The television. Cell phones. Basically my primary possessions. They also probably don’t mix well with carpeting, walls, appliances, etc. But I don’t even want to think about those things.
And the issue is, not once has there been a fire! But you see, rather than positioning the smoke alarms in normal places, there is one in the hall, there is one 3 feet away on the ceiling in the bedroom (basically, a door frame separates them and that’s it, and trust me, even if the door is closed in the bedroom, you can hear the hall smoke alarm just fine), and one in the laundry closet (which, by the way, is about 5 feet from the hall one, and is also only separated by a door). I try to keep my electronic possessions away from the sprinklers but gracious! This isn’t even funny anymore!