Yes you can avoid fire alarms! Without tampering with the smoke detectors!
As many of you have experienced, our fire alarm systems here at Baity Hill are very sensitive, and they are required to remain that way. While the fire department will come out regardless when an alarm goes off, we still want to do what we can to avoid setting off those smoke detectors...
(WITHOUT TAMPERING WITH THEM OR COVERING THEM UP, which is illegal and could open you up to criminal liability should a fire occur, and we definitely don't want that)! So...
Since most of the alarms we receive are due to cooking, here are some suggestions to keep them to a minimum, and what to do if you still set one off:
What to do before and during cooking?
- Never leave your stove unattended when the burners are on!
- Keep the stove-top and burners clean. Accumulation of dirt, grease, and food particles can cause the stove to smoke more and catch fire.
- Clean your pots and pans to ensure there is no grease or food that will burn off as smoke.
- Heat oil gradually. You should not pour oil into a hot pan. Doing so can cause the oil to burst into flames. Keep the temperature closer to medium than high.
- Again, do not leave your food unattended!
- Ventilate the area. Make sure the exhaust fan is on while cooking; it may be helpful to open a window and turn on the ceiling fan as well. Do not open the apartment door to vent smoke into the hallway.
What to do when there is a fire?
- Turn off any heat sources that you can in a safe way and cover as necessary.
- Remove the pot or pan from the heat if you can do so safely. Do not put it on the counter-top as that will burn as well.
- If it is a grease fire, DO NOT THROW WATER ON IT. If you can, turn off the heat and cover the pan.
- Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). Turn off the burner. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
- In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.
- If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. Unplug the appliance if you can safely reach the outlet.
What do I do if my apartment alarm goes off?
- Ascertain that there is not an actual fire. If there is a fire, try to put it out with baking soda or a fire extinguisher.
- If the alarm is going off in your apartment only and there is no fire, wait in the hall for the fire department to arrive.
- If the alarm sounds for the entire building, exit the building immediately.
What to do after the alarm or fire?
- Try to figure out what happened that caused the smoke alarm to go off, so that you can avoid it in the future.
- Make sure that your appliances (stove top, oven, microwave, etc.) and your pots/pans are cleaned before reusing.