Imagine you’re in the shower belting out My Way at the top of your lungs, when suddenly you’re drowned out by a shrieking alarm. Womp! Womp! Womp!
DO YOU GUESS: This can’t be good?
BINGO: You would be right. It’s important to stay calm but not too calm because, Fire?
DO YOU: Finish the song? Or find a towel, fast?
STOP. THINK: Would I rather stay in my unit and die of smoke inhalation or be seen on Wilbur in my ratty pink bathrobe? Hard choice, admittedly.
BE PREPARED: Along with your family album, always have your best silk kimono within
reach in case you have to leave in a hurry.
KNOW THIS: Pacific Tower loves you and there are numerous ways it protects you in
case of fire.Obviously we’re the opposite of a woody log cabin.Concrete versus wood is
good.Also, there are censors all over the building connected to a fire detection computer
that’s also connected to the fire department.All our doors are fire-rated not to melt for two
hours.The FD inspects the property annually to make sure all is safe.Not only that…
FUN FACT: Your unit has TWO alarms – SMOKE AND FIRE! What’s the diff? That 5” white round plastic thing (probably over your bedroom door) is a smoke alarm. It’s not connected to the rest of the building. It’s yours.You can get one at Walmart for 18 bucks plus 9 Volt batteries or you can get the fancy-shmancy combo one that also includes a carbon monoxide detector (39 smackers).You’re required by our CC&Rs (AKA the building rules) to have at least one working smoke alarm (and reminded to swap out the batteries annually).
IF IT IS CHIRPING: It’s trying to tell you – I need new batteries ASAP!
HOW DOES MY SMOKE ALARM WORK?
EXAMPLE: Say you left a pot on the stove and went into the bedroom to binge watch a
Three Stooges Marathon.The Stooges aren’t as funny as you remembered and you nod
off.You wake up to a smoke-filled room and your smoke alarm is blaring.
GENIUS: You immediately trace the smoke back to your stove where your mac and
cheese has turned into black and sleaze.
DO: Turn stove off.
IMPORTANT: Do not let your kimono sleeves catch fire.You’ll never forgive yourself.
DO: Turn off and reset your alarm in case the I Love Lucy marathon has the same effect.
DON’T: Leave the building.Stay home, open the windows and have fun trying to rehab
that Revere Ware you just destroyed.
ALARM NUMBER TWO:
IN YOUR HALLWAY: There’s the 3” X 4” rectangular fire alarm. It goes off if there’s a fire anywhere in the common areas of the building like the garage, dumpster room, boiler room, laundry rooms, hallways, lobbies and storage rooms. It’s also connected to our local Fire Station #21, and they are no doubt, on their way the second after our alarm goes off.
DO I STAY OR DO I GO? It’s not a bad idea to leave the building. It COULD be a false alarm, but why chance it? Skip the elevator and take the stairs down - you could use the exercise. Consider it an opportunity to:
• Get away from the deafening shrieking alarm.
• Meet your neighbors.
• Show off that silk kimono.
• See cute firemen.
Karyl Miller - Writer. Trish Mylet- Editor