View Full Version : The fire drill fight

12-31-2009, 01:29 AM
Today was annual fire equipment test day in my building. I’ve known it was coming for at least two weeks, ever since the generic letter was slid under my front door by the building manager stating “We’re coming in whether your home or not”, reason being….The fire gizmos need testing. Every year the same thing happens, I reconnect the smoke detector I unplugged five minutes after last years test, they come in, see a green light on the detector, prod the nearby heat detector with some device that says its working and they leave just before I disconnect the smoke detector again. The fire bells in the hallway go off sporadically for four hours then life returns to normal for another year. Today was different!... I did not reconnect the smoke detector! As soon as they entered the suite, they were attracted to the fact that no green light was glowing on the device, a state of failure…But why? “I disconnected the little *******!” I blurted, “You have a shower, it goes off, boil a freaking hot dog, it goes off, put too much hot water in the kitchen sink, it goes off so to save my sanity I shut the stupid thing down!” “That’s against the fire regulations sir”, the fire guy says, “ every suite in this building must have a working smoke detector!” The guy should have seen this coming. “Define a working smoke detector if you please”. "Well it will alert you to the presence of smoke in the suite and the smoke could mean a life threatening fire, it provides an early warning that could save your life!” Fair enough I’m thinking but feel the urge to retort “In its job classification does it need to inform me when my room mate is having a shower, or that my hot dog water is boiling or that a hard rain is falling because if not it’s seriously messed up with its notion of the prime directive!” The fireman didn’t have an answer but said he’d replace the unit. “You’ve replaced it three years in a row and all three years I’ve disconnected it because it’s insane!” At this point the building manager got involved “Michael…You must have a working smoke detector on your wall, it’s in the fire code!” The key was obviously the word “working”. “Bring me one that works Frank and I’ll gladly have it on my wall!” It went back and forth for a bit but at the end of the day I refused to allow them to hook up the same brand of detector and told them they could return with a new model that worked or just resign themselves to the idea that in the event of a life threatening fire I would rather burn to death than go mental with false alarms all day. Somewhere deep in the bowels of city hall is a bylaw stating my suite must have a working smoke detector on the wall. And that’s where it ends. Whether the damned thing works properly was apparently never addressed. The fact that they could be batch purchased on sale, reduced to move for a quarter at the local dollar store was also a neglected consideration, just as long as one of them resides on a wall or ceiling in every suite in the city.

12-31-2009, 01:58 AM
Lol, just go and buy one that works and give them the bill. Problem solved. :)

12-31-2009, 08:35 AM
okay, I hear you on one level and disagree on another. (now that's a surprise I'm sure! :rolleyes:)

You do need a working smoke detector. And if you are okay burning to death I am sure that your neighbor is not! But I agree that some are just crap. The best ones are the ones that are wired in but that's a moot point now I guess. Part of the problem is that it's probably a cheap one. The other might be placement of it. It should'nt be outside the bathroom or close to the kitchen for exactly those reasons- the shower sets it off.

My recommendation is to get a combination photoelectric/ionization smoke detector and put it away from the bathroom and kitchen. Also get one with a 'hush' button. Garrison smoke detectors get good ratings.

good luck!

12-31-2009, 11:05 AM
I totally get where Mike is coming from...I've been there and I agree with Raiven...go buy a good one that works best FOR YOU and give them the bill.

Sometimes when you live in a condo or an apartment, the space where the bathroom, the kitchen and the laundry room lie are within a few feet of each other and there is just no good place to put it in a way to avoid the stupid thing going off every time any amount of heat is put out of an appliance or tap. I had one go off with showers, laundry, stove, you name it...the damn thing went off. I tried putting it on several different walls and the same thing....it was a space issue and a crap issue. Then I had one wired in and rarely a problem since. :highfive:

12-31-2009, 04:09 PM
You've quite obviously never been to a full envolved house fire, hooked up your seat belt, or enjoyed socalized medical care. I wish a safe and prosperous new years to you and hopefully your neighbours.


Mad Aussie
12-31-2009, 05:27 PM
They did a study over here recently that showed that a large number of people slept through smoke detectors because they were used to the false alarms.

I'm with Michael ... make one that works or I'm disconnecting it as well. I do however go looking for a better model when this occurs and I believe theyare a good thing.

I like your arguments Michael ... "define working!" ... "it doesn't need to 'alert' me that my roommate is wet and naked" ... ;)

12-31-2009, 06:12 PM
They're like car alarms in that respect, always disturbing the peace for no apparent reason :D I'm not too worried about its disconnection this is after all an eleven story cement and steel building. Then again it could have been built by the same guys who erected world trade tower 7 and a couple of small fires on the lower floors could cause it to collapse into a pile of dust? Maybe I should give old Silverstien a call and ask who his designer was :D