An open letter to Freshman: please stop starting fires

I love my freshman residents very much, however, theres one thing I need to ask of you.

Please stop tripping your smoke alarms. I know they’re really sensitive here and maybe this is your first time cooking for yourself, but please I am begging you.

You’re all valid and wonderful and I genuinely appreciate every one of you but I might cry if we keep having to reset the fire pannel this often.

That being said, here are my pro-tips to not make the walls start yelling.

Number one- Turn the heat down. Our stoves heat up pretty quickly, and things can go from lukewarm to burning pretty fast (especially butter).

Keep your heat on medium unless absolutely necessary is a fairly good rule of thumb.

Number Two- Ventilate.

If you’re cooking something, doing your hair, or doing anything else that might make any spoke or throw a lot of particulate into the air, keep your AC unit on, open your windows, and turn on your vent fan.

Keeping good air flow through your dorm is good for both your health and the health of your smoke alarm.

Number Three- Don’t let your partner cook if they’re anything like mine. I have a melted spatula, a ruined frying pan, a melted coffee pot and about 7 separate headaches as reason why you should probably supervise anyone in your kitchen at all times.

Number four- Dont have anything that is actively on fire.

You’re not supposed to have candles, insence, candle warmers (yes, even the electric kind) or anything else with an open flame for a reason, and that reason is you will either set the smoke alarms off, or set the building on fire.

I don’t think I need to explain why either of those are maybe not the best thing in the world.

Number five- Give your nose an occasional break.

Yes, excessive use of air fresheners can trigger the smoke alarms. Why? Bescause air fresheners add particulate matter to the air that the smoke alarm assumes is smoke.

You can safely use air fresheners, I promise, just maybe only use one at a time.

Overall, I know its an adjustment for some people to make these changes because they’re used to something different, and thats okay.

Nobody is ever going to be angry at you for accidentally burning your grilled cheese and setting off the smoke detector, but, given that theres been a lot of false-alarms this year, I think it’s important that everyone makes an extra effort to be vigilant.

Please, just make sure you’re using your head and avoiding things you’re not supposed to have.

You’re going to set off your smoke alarm at least once in your life when you’re learning to cook, but if everyone could do that not all at once, that would honestly be amazing.

As an RA, I promise it’s okay to make mistakes and we are always here to help you with them, but, I’m a person first, and I do just happen to be a person who’s a little exhausted with the fire panel.

Now go make yourself some eggs without burning the dorm down- You’ve made it to college, I know that you can do it.

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