Last night we were rudely awakened at 1:30am by fire alarms. I was surprised at how quickly I jumped up, and threw on a sweat shirt (over my head) … this is somewhat ill-advised in my current condition (with two to three inch incisions under my armpits). I didn’t feel it at the time, and they really aren’t too painful this morning, so I appear to have gotten away with it.
So, we found ourselves standing outside our apartment at 1:30 in the morning waiting for the alarms to stop. The weather was beautiful, so we decided to take advantage of the fact that Safeway is open 24 hours, and walk over to pick up a snack and some cranberry juice. By the time we finished shopping, the alarms had stopped. We could actually hear the alarms when we were outside at Safeway!
When the alarm first went off, Scott stepped out to take a quick look around to see how quickly we needed to evacuate. There were no signs of smoke or anything we could detect, so we took a few minutes to get organized before leaving (grabbing passports and wallets). What this pointed out to us, is that we don’t have an emergency plan. We don’t have a grab bag or a check list or anything to speed up the evacuation process. If Scott had gotten stuck outside when he did his quick look around, we didn’t have a plan as to how long I should wait before leaving, or where we should meet. We definitely need to think about these things. I encourage everyone who is reading this to take a moment and contemplate their emergency plan.
Upon returning home, we found out that the alarm was triggered by someone smoking in a stairwell. All the public areas are non-smoking areas. Someone was too lazy to go outside (on a lovely night) to have their cigarette, and as a result, the entire complex was evacuated for at least 30 minutes. I do hope they find the person and give them a huge fine. I would not be surprised if the fire department (or City of Santa Clara) fined the Home Owners Association for the false alarm.