Tuesday, July 22, 2014

That Time I Sucked At Fire Safety

Friday night started like any other: me asleep on the couch.

Anna and I had plans to meet Andrea and some friends for drinks before we took in an improv show at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. I needed all my energy to enjoy a night out after a long week at work, which meant nap. 

I was having a pretty good one on the couch when I heard huge cracks of thunder. I didn't even realize it had started raining. Two minutes later there's a bright light flashing and I assume it's lightning. I was pretty wrong about that. 

That's when the siren started wailing. Anna comes out into the living room, we look at each other, and dazedly (because I was still half asleep) I inform her: "You're gonna need a sweater. I think we have to go outside." 

We've had fire drills since we were 5 so you'd think fire safety would be ingrained by now. NOPE. I casually walk into my room to pick out a sweater, Anna goes to grab her purse, we both go find our cell phones. We then stand in front of Reggie for a solid 2 minutes discussing whether or not we should take him down with us. We couldn't smell smoke, so we didn't think it was a real fire. Anna's first thought was lightning struck the building and tripped the alarm. 

We proceed to stand in the hallway for another 3 minutes to confer with our neighbors whether we really need to leave the building or not. We all decided that we probably should since the whole fire system is going nuts. Then I remember it's raining and go back inside the apartment to get an umbrella. 

We finally make it to the side door and stand there debating whether we actually needed to go out into the rain or not. Anna really didn't want to because she had just straightened her hair, and like, priorities. A few people with pets and children were pushing past us so we sighed, opened the umbrella, and walked out into the torrential downpour. 

We all met at the front of the building under the overhang where we all complained about being stuck outside on a Friday in the rain. I thought getting woken up from a nap and having to wear my pajamas outside was awful, but another poor woman had been in the bath when the alarms went off. She looked pretty angry. We were all griping pretty hard.

That's when the fire truck showed up. And then another. And another. And another. And the Fire Marshall. Two minutes after they showed up it started to hail. Golf ball sized hail. Because apparently our evening couldn't get any worse. 

After 30 or so minutes of the firefighters (none of whom were young or attractive) fiddling with the alarm system, they came back out and said they didn't know what set it off but we could all go back inside. 

We trudged back up the four flights to our apartment, complaining because the elevator was out of service now, and I hopped in the shower. The alarm started to go off again. I yelled to Anna from the shower: "NOPE. NOT GETTING OUT!"

It turns out they couldn't get it to reset so it kept going off sporadically all night. When we got home around midnight it had stopped so thank god for that.

Moral of the story is that if there were a real fire, I'd be dead.


  1. This would be me. But with lots of "Do I haaavvveeee to?" thrown in there. Also, did you end up attempting to save Reggie's life or no? Hahah

  2. Hahahha that's hilarious and I would have done the exact same thing!

  3. Hahahaha. We had something like that happen when I was in school. We grabbed the cat and had to go out in the torrential rain. He was NOT happy. hahaha. Good thing you had a great umbrella to keep you safe from hail!

  4. The fire alarms go off all the time and I dont even more much less go outside. I'm close enough to an exit I wont die.. I think. Hopefully those arent famous last words.

  5. I used to manage apartment communities and the fire alarm systems were always the bane of my existence. Like, they are so damn annoying and people get so angry....but it is sort of something that can not be controlled. At least it wasn't a real emergency!

  6. we have stupid fire drills in this here work building and i'm still sitting at my desk surfing and shit while the alarms are blaring. unless i see smoke and shit, i ain't moving.

    Vodka and Soda

  7. LOL! They really need to come up with fire alarm sound #1 which means its a total fake & fire alarm sound #2 which means you should really get your ass moving. You know what I'm saying?! Because really, missed naps, hail and you know - missed naps -- ain't nobody got time for that.

  8. I'm glad I don't live in a buidling that has a fire alarm system like that. I have two alarms in my apartment and the only time they've gone off (for no reason might I add) is while I was using my oven to bake some chicken.

  9. bahahahahah none of which were young or attractive booooooooo

  10. Oh man that sounds miserable! Figures it would hail and none of the firemen were attractive. That's some pretty bad luck..