A Faulty Smoke Detector

Today I tested my smoke detectors to make sure they work; the result was slightly concerning. While my roommate and a bunch of other people were watching Prison Break in the front room, I started cooking some rice on the stove. Then I went back to my room and forgot about it.

After about 10 minutes Colin came back to tell me that my stuff was burning. I said something like, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Can you just take it off the burner. I’ll be there in a minute.” I finished what I was doing and went out to start over on my rice. I found the front door propped open and my front room thickly filled with smoke. A small cluster of people armed with hot pads were in the kitchen watching smoke pouring out of my pan of rice that was still on the burner discussing whether it was safe to take it off.

So this brings a couple of things to mind. A couple of weeks ago something I was baking boiled over in the oven and started smoking. I remember being surprised that my smoke alarm didn’t go off ’cause it was certainly smokey enough it should have. I don’t think my apartment has ever been smokier than today. Again, the smoke detector didn’t go off. Kinda concerning.

The other thing it brings to mind is how nice it is to have a good sense of smell. I have noticed and prevented kitchen problems similar to this quite a few times because I have a pretty sensitive sense of smell. (Although this does have its disadvantages, too; but that’s a topic for another post.) I was kind of surprised how far along my rice got before anyone in the front room noticed. Maybe it was just the movie they were watching. I’ve heard Prison Break is pretty intense. Apparently the room filling with smoke didn’t even distract them.

One last observation: if you want to break up your roommate’s party at your apartment, I have never seen a better method than putting some rice on to boil for 10 minutes on high. They vacated the place promptly and went somewhere else to watch it. Kinda too bad this time—I was going to start watching it with them when my food got done. But since they left I didn’t have anything better to do except blog about it.