Monday, September 28, 2009

Averaging two fire-alarms a week

And that's just in our own residence hall, Shoreditch. If you count fire alarms that we could hear coming from other halls, the number is 5 or 6 alarms a week. The first one in our hall was mid-evening, but the one last night was at 1:15am. Every room has an alarm siren mounted above the door, inside the room. Which means it's about 10 feet from you when you're in bed asleep. When it goes off, it pretty much wakes the dead, not to mention everyone on this side of the campus. We jump up, throw on clothes, hustle down 5 flights of stairs, then stand outside until Security shows up, turns off the alarm, and OKs everyone to return. During the first fire alarm, the second day we were here, a couple from Taiwan told us it happens 2 or 3 times a week (and they've been here for two months). I didn't believe him at the time, but I do now. Makes you wonder how much fun it'll be when it's pouring rain, or freezing cold. Or both.

Robin holds her ears while evacuating via the stairwell during a fire alarm. I'm sure many students will have permanent damage to their hearing before the semester ends. I once sat on the front row of a Led Zeppelin concert, and it was like a soothing lullaby compared to the siren used here.