The fire alarm in my building went off today at 11am as I was still asleep. It’s done this before and usually, it goes off for about two minutes and then it stops. I just assume it’s a false alarm since no real fire situation would resolve itself in such a short amount of time.
As I was still in bed, I just hoped this morning’s alarm was the just another false one. Five minutes went by and it still hadn’t stopped. I still refused to get out of bed. Then another five minutes passed and the alarm was still going. By now I was fully awake so I just decided to get up. As I stumbled around in my PJs, I tried to determine if there was indeed a real fire in my building. Then I heard the wail of sirens from fire engines nearby, which made me think this was perhaps serious. Resigned to leaving my apartment before even having breakfast, I had one sock on when the alarm suddenly stopped. I could no longer hear the fire engines. I guess it was a false alarm after all.
I admit that in the interest of being safe, I should have left the building during the first five minutes of the alarm. Since I live near the top of the building, I have less time that those below me should an actual fire be present. That said, we have way too many false alarms and I think that makes me and everyone else complacent. Also, and this is probably the most important thing, the fire alarm isn’t annoying nor loud enough. I’ve lived in other buildings where the fire alarm is near deafening. The volume is so loud that it’s actually painful to stay in your place, no matter what room you go in. The alarm in this place is just a loud but not painful ring-ring. So not only is it not loud, it isn’t even a continuous shriek which would be annoying.
Ok, I promise to leave a bit sooner next time.