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Fire Alarms and How to Avoid Them


By Erin Keating

In the weeks following Fall Break, there has been a rampant epidemic of accidental fire alarms. Even though we were only home for a week, clearly a lot of us have forgotten how to college. Here is just a quick refresher in college cooking so that you don’t become the next target of YikYak hate for causing a fire alarm in the middle of the night.


  1. Put water in your Easy Mac and/or Ramen: It is always shocking the number of people who blame this as the cause of the fire alarm going off. Honestly, I’m wondering if it’s become something of an urban legend because it sounds like such a simple and necessary instruction that I don’t want to believe so many people are forgetting it. Regardless of whether this is someone’s go-to answer or not, this is a very important step in the cooking process. If you don’t want your entire dorm glaring at you when you drag them out of bed at three in the morning, make sure there is water in whatever type of instant pasta you are cooking.
  2. The Popcorn Button: Just because there is a button depicting popcorn on the microwave does not mean you have to use it. Following the instructions on the popcorn bag is much safer than just hitting the popcorn button. The time is set differently on different microwaves, and sometimes they run long enough to pop an entire ear of corn. Also, different kinds of popcorn require different amounts of time needed to pop to perfection, so reading the directions on the bag will save you from burnt popcorn and an angry hall.
  3. Keep your eye on your food: Stay with your food as you are cooking whether it is in the microwave or the stove or in the oven. It doesn’t take long for food to start to smoke, and by being there and watching the food you are cooking, you can remove it before it sets off the fire alarm. The same way you wouldn’t leave your favorite food alone for fear that someone might eat it, do not leave food you are cooking alone for fear that the fire alarm will go off.

There is no guarantee that these three steps will stop the fire alarms from constantly interrupting our lives, but by following these tips, it will lessen your chance of being the one that sets it off.