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Imagine it’s a Friday night and you’ve been hanging out with your friends. It’s getting late and you decide it’s time to head back to your dorm to get some sleep. It’s around 1:30 when you fall asleep and about an hour later, at 2:30 in the morning, the fire alarm in your dorm is going off. You and your roommate sit there wondering “Do we really need to get up and leave?” Of course you reason that you should as it’s the safe thing to do. 

Where is your stuff? How long do you have to sit outside and how cold is it? Did your friends wake up from their dead sleep and leave the building? These are all important questions, and so to give you less worry for when someone inevitably microwaves popcorn for too long and sets off the alarm, here’s my advice for how to prepare and what to do when the fire alarm goes off.

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  1. Grab your phone

You should always try to have your phone with you in case of emergency. In this case you should have it to text your friends who live in the dorm and make sure they got out, you can link up with someone so you don’t have to sit in the cold alone, and if you’re waiting for too long or it turns out to be more serious, you can find a friend who lives in a different building and crash or sit with them indoors until it’s cleared to go back.

  1. Always have slide on shoes prepared

This is arguably more important than my first piece of advice. No one wants to walk around outside on a college campus without shoes on and putting on sneakers or boots in the middle of the night when you need to quickly get out is not ideal. So make sure you have crocs, flip flops, or any other slide on shoe at your disposal.

  1. Grab a sweatshirt and a throw blanket

You’re probably going to get cold standing outside no matter what time of year it is. You have to leave your cozy warm bed to wait and hope that no one did serious damage in the dorm kitchen. Your best bet is to grab a sweatshirt and the closest throw blanket you have. You’ll need to keep warm and chances are one of your friends will have forgotten to grab a jacket and you’ll need to lend them your blanket.


These are my top three pieces of advice for dealing with the fire alarm going off in your dorm. Of course, you should always be safe when it comes to the chance of a fire and you should try to get out as quickly as possible. Try to be prepared for when this event occurs, and only follow my advice if you can get out as quickly as possible and not harm yourself or others in the process. Here’s to hoping you have to deal with as few fire alarms as possible while living on campus!

Hi! My name is Catlin Cornish and I'm from New York. I'm a Freshman at Dension interested in studying Women and Gender Studies and Art History. In my free time, I love to write, listen to music or podcasts, play instruments, or hang out with friends!
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