An Alarming Lack Of Alarming

, , , , , , | Working | March 13, 2018

(My mother and I are staying at a hotel. It’s around three am and I am woken by an alarm in the room. It sounds like a clock alarm. It’s not my phone, so I go over to my mother’s bed and look for her phone.)

Mum: *wakes to me trying to locate her phone in the dark* “Wha… What’s that noise?”

Me: “I think it’s a phone alarm. Is it yours?”

Mum: “I don’t use the alarm. What is it? Turn it off; it’s annoying.”

(She rolls back over to go to sleep. I unplug the hotel alarm clock, but the noise continues. I move towards the window and I hear another sound coming from outside, this one sounds like a fire alarm a little way off. Opening our door, I notice a fire door has closed across the hallway.)

Me: “S***! Mum, get up! It’s a fire alarm!”

(We head out into the hall to find [Friend #1] standing there, looking dazed. Other friends are still in their room. We knock on one of their doors, and they answer right away.)

Friend #2: “Hey, what’s up? Hey, [Friend #3], the noise is out here, too. What’s going on?”

Me: “It’s a fire alarm.”

Friend #2: “What? We thought it was an alarm clock. We’ve been searching the room trying to find it for the last five minutes.”

(Another group of friends had slept through it and only woke to our banging on their door. We made it down the fire escape. Thankfully, it was a false alarm — some kids had set off a fire extinguisher on another floor — but it would have been nice to have something more defined as a fire alarm, rather than something that sounded like an annoying alarm clock. I wonder how many people wouldn’t have made it out of that hotel if there really had been a fire.)

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