College Students Share Their Most Unforgettable Fire Alarm Stories
College students living on campus can sometimes struggle to adjust to life on their own. Some party too hard, some adjust fine, others fall into a mischievous streak and start pulling pranks - and then there's the freakishly disproportionate amount who somehow manage to burn popcorn or light grilled cheese on fire with such vengeance that they set off fire alarms and force entire buildings to evacuate.
I may have been that last one.
So when one reddit thread devolved into a conversation about the weirdest college fire alarm stories, I had to scan through it to make sure nobody was talking about me or my many, many "moments" my first year in college. In my defense, I had never lived alone and had a very overprotective family who didn't let me do things for myself. Also, I'm absentminded and toaster ovens are hard.
Anyway, here are some of the funnier comments in the thread, none of which are about me. Some have been edited for language or clarity.
First week of freshman year of college in my dorm, I tried to drunkenly smoke a cigarette while taking a dump one night, but ended up passing out mid-smoke and somehow ignited the toilet paper roll enough that it smoldered and set off a smoke detector, which triggered the fire alarm for the whole building. It was not one of my finer moments.
Middle Of A Blizzard
Graduate apartment, someone burns food while cooking. They open their door to let out the smoke - exactly what they are not supposed to do. The hallway smoke detectors are a lot more sensitive than the kitchen ones and we all have to get outside at 1 am in the middle of a blizzard. Luckily I was sleeping with underwear on and I grabbed sweatpants and a tshirt quickly.
I once woke up to a fire alarm in college. Kind of. Exhausted I wake up and think
"F*ck it, it's probably a false alarm."
A minute later I smelled smoke so I sat up, but then decided "nah I'm going to bed" and actually went back to bed. In the morning I found out there was a big ass garbage can on fire in the room next to me.
Boy was I tired during college.
My freshman year of college I got caught in the shower every fire alarm and drill like clockwork. The first couple of times was kinda funny, I put on my pjs still wet and with shampoo in my hair but laughed it off, by the 3rd time I started to revolt.
It was 11 at night and it went off, I started screaming and me and my RA fought through the door with me trying to convince her to let me stay cause "the fire can't get me in the shower." Didn't fly. The fourth time I just came out in my thinnest towel since this was a Christian school and I wanted to make everyone else feel awkward, I was fine.
By the fifth time the RD told my RA she could start warning me before hand. I managed to stay out of the shower during fire drills after that but we had a tornado warning one morning and when my RA came to wake me up I told her just to charge me the 100 dollars for staying in bed. She made me get up and I laid in the basement in my blanket cocoon till I had to leave for my chem ll exam.
My second year I roomed with the RA so I never had to worry about it, though she did have to stop me a few times from jumping in the shower right before one happened. My junior year I just straight up told the RD I would leave the apartment naked if she didn't give me some warning. I think we only had like 2 that year though.
It's actually pretty great. So we knew were getting a late night fire alarm, like 2 a.m. late, so most of the hall decided to stay up, it was a weekend after all. Well someone throws around the idea of faking the rapture and we got IN on it. We invited one of our friends to come watch Tangled in the lounge and she went to shower while we got to work.
Everyone changed out of the clothes they were wearing and we placed them all over the room like we had just been taken. Some of us were on the couches, others at the table, and even a few on the floor. We had books open, the movie playing, popcorn popped, hell we even put underwear in the piles to make it more believable. So we do all this set up and almost everyone on the hall piles into one central room. And then we wait.
This girl was in the shower for like an hour so as we all sit there we start to get worried, we're on a time frame after all and what if the alarm goes off before we can pull this off? Then we hear talking in the hallway and it's the RA and RD coming to pull the alarm for the drill! So we grab them and shove them into the room with us and make them keep quiet cause we are NOT letting all this work go to waste.
The girl finally leaves her room and we hear her calling for everyone in the lounge. She's mostly just confused but when she starts knocking on doors we start to get worried. So we shove one of the people in the room with us out to convince her it's happened (I was suggested as a sacrifice but I can't keep a straight face to save my life so that wasn't happening). They actually wake up another girl who is not in on it but realizes pretty quick what is happening and plays along. The girl we were trying to trick is about to call her mom in a panic and see if she was taken when we all pile out of the room to stop her.
Many laughs were had, the rest of the hall was awakened by our shenanigans and they finally had the fire drill.
Then like a week later, a group of guys tried it on there hall and filmed it but that kid lost his mind when he thought he had been left and we were banned from ever doing something like that again :<.
Left A Deaf Kid Behind
During my first week of college the fire alarm went off and the RA in one of the sections skipped checking the rooms. They left a deaf kid behind. Luckily, it was only burnt popcorn and no one was hurt, but we all had to stand outside in the pouring cold rain and the whole dorm was lectured on how we had to leave.
It wasn't until it started to storm that they let us back in over an hour later.
A Pristine Crack
So we had firedrills every term in my dorms. However, nobody was informed of the first one because they wanted to make sure we were on our toes. I was having a pretty bad time in the restroom, I forgot what I ate that day. Whilst struggling, the alarm went off.
My first thought was, "Sh!t I have to go right now!"
But then I thought, "I'll have to skip cleaning up and meet up with my hallmates outside with a messy brown canyon in my pants."
It was a pretty compelling thought. So I decided to take a capital L by staying and cleaning up, all while the alarms blared and flashed. I lived on the top floor, mind you.
Ultimately, if I died, I wanted everybody I knew to know that I died with a pristine crack.
In college, the fire alarm went off in my dorm at 6ish AM. Less than half the building actually left, and a bunch of people took the elevator. Everyone thought it was a fire drill so they either kept trying to sleep, kept showering or kept pooping. Turns out it was a fire drill, and the fire marshal that triggered it was super pissed. The school got in trouble because they were "responsible for our safety", and started doing fire drills regularly. That made people even less inclined to get up for it, but there was no real punishment they could dole out.
Eventually, one kid lit his room on fire with a mini torch when heating his dab, and only about 1/4 of the building evacuated. Once the fire trucks arrived everyone started pouring out, but a few kids had to be treated for smoke inhalation.
After that everyone exited the building when the alarm went off, for about 6 months.
Finish Your Business
I was in University and I was on the toilet at the time the fire alarm went off in the dorm. At first I panicked a bit, then I quickly wiped the worst of the mess away, flushed and evacuated. We were supposed to gather across the street from the dorm but I went straight to the nearby dining hall and finished my business in the bathroom there.
I was mid shower in a communal shower in college. I was an RA at the time and it was my job to open all of my residents doors and make sure they were empty. Then get out myself. I had about 10 rooms to check.
I grabbed my towel and with shampoo in my hair bolted as quickly I as could out of the shower. The look on one guys face when I opened his door was priceless. I then got to stand outside in my towel and sudsy hair while the fire department did their thing. Turns out a microwave caught fire.
My Residential Director thought it was hilarious, and commended me at our next meeting for doing my job under such circumstances. I was mortified.
I was at the Dr office once and the fire alarm went off. My doc was in a mixed use building so there were all kinda of businesses and was across from the local mall. Right after my appointment finished the alarm went off. When we got to the designated evac zone, one girl was in the middle of getting highlights or her hair dyed, another was in the process of getting shampoo. I felt so bad for them as it took over an hour before they were let back into the building.
I was once in the bathroom at work taking a dump when we had a tornado drill. The bathrooms were one of the designated shelters, and of course the shelter closest to my department to boot. I finished up and walked out in what I hope was a nonchalant way only to see all my co workers including the guy I was crushing on. They were all very cool and professional about it luckily.
Burned Popcorn, Burned Scalp
I was in the middle of dying my hair in, like, February when an engineering student caught his microwave on fire while making popcorn. Stood outside as long as I could bear with my scalp burning, walked to a friend's dorm to rinse and ended up just staying the night there instead of heading back. Dorm didn't really try to account for all residents, just that no one was still inside.
"It wasn't me!"
There's not much you can do when the righteous fist of the law comes down on you. Call it a mix-up, or call it a mistake, if someone's pegged you at the scene of a crime there's not much you can do but trust the justice system to prove you innocent. However, that's a gamble, and just because you've been given a "not guilty" doesn't mean the effects won't follow you for the rest of your life.
Reddit user, u/danbrownskin, wanted to hear about the times when it wasn't you, seriously, it was someone else, when they asked: