Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Popcorn and the Smoke Alarm

For quite some time now I have had issues with the smoke alarms in my apartment.  The locations of the two smoke alarms make sense only to someone who actually understands the fire codes for this city.  One alarm is located on the kitchen ceiling about a foot away from my bedroom door.  The other is located on the bedroom ceiling about a foot away from that same door.  Which puts the alarms about two feet apart.

My kitchen stove is across the room from the kitchen smoke alarm.  That alarm works fine.  The identical alarm in my bedroom will go off if I leave the door between kitchen and bedroom open and use any burner on my stove or open the door on the hot oven.  That alarm not only beeps loudly, but screams "Fire, Fire!"  Doesn't matter what the landlord does to fix this problem.  This is just the way it is.  And it is not easy to shut off.  Takes a little time to get it to stop beeping and screaming.

I like popcorn.  I like popcorn for an evening snack.  I particularly like popcorn dribbled with a little bit of butter, sprinkled with Lawry's coarse ground garlic salt with parsley and then with Parmesan cheese.

I haven't owned a popcorn popper for a while.  The last one I had was one of those hard plastic bowls used in the microwave.  Cat knocked it onto the floor and it broke right in the middle.

Then I made my own microwave popcorn by putting about a half a cup of popcorn kernels into a brown paper lunch bag, taping the bag closed with Scotch tape and microwaving it.  Worked like a charm.  Until I ran out of lunch bags.  Do you suppose I can remember to buy more bags?  Not likely.

So I have been making my popcorn in my cast iron frying pan.  Works well.  Except when I get careless about watching it and I burn the heck out of the popcorn.  Which sets off the smoke alarm because I also forgot to shut the door between kitchen and bedroom.  At 11:00 at night.  I don't think my neighbors were very happy with me.

I'm thinking there will be no more popcorn in my future until I get to the store and buy a popcorn popper that is smoke alarm friendly.



  1. Have you tried making microwaved popcorn in an ovenproof glass bowl with lid orva plate inverted on top as a lid? :)

  2. My wife makes popcorn in our microwave and sometimes it sets off the smoke alarm in the kitchen. It's not hard to shut off though, like yours is.

  3. Dani...Great idea. I hadn't thought of popping corn that way. I've got some covered casserole bowls that might work. I'll give it a try. Thanks.

  4. Harry...Oddly enough, the microwave, which is closer to the smoke alarm than is the oven, will not set it off. Nobody else in the building seems to set off their alarms. Maybe I'm the only one who cooks or bakes. Or burns stuff! (grin)

  5. shakes head. I can beat that fire sprinkler same distance as yours but its over a steam oven. Oh this is at Disney. at my work location. Its nearing the switch from breakfast prep to lunch prep.

    All of a sudden we hear is a women voice "SON OF A BITCH" turn the corner and a prep chief stands below the now running sprinkler head with a full size sheet pan over her head.

    Its looks like a water park, water everwhere on the floor running into all the drains. We call the RCFD and they come out and shut off the water and rest the system. It took a bit to push all the water down the drain

    This happened to her before with the same oven and sprinkler. Oh I got a free lunch out of it. for working so hard to clean up.

    We have a non stick pan we use for pop corn just a splash of oil and corn set to go.

  6. Rob...That's funny. Well, probably not so much for those involved, but you gotta admit - it's still funny.

    I think I'm glad that all I have to contend with is a smoke alarm. And I think I'm happy we don't have a sprinkler system in my building! Lord knows, with my luck, I'd set the whole thing off, for sure. (grin)

  7. I don't suppose you have a balcony. If you do, get an electric corn popper and run an extension cord outside, so you can pop it outdoors. Just remember to bring it all back inside when you're done.

  8. No balcony, Gorges. But there is a communal deck. Of course, it would take a really long extension cord. So I'm thinking maybe one of those air poppers. We'll see. But you are right. I probably need to get as far away from my smoke alarm as possible! :)

  9. in my house the smoke alarms are located in our hall (about 5-6 ft from the kitchen) and another upstairs. my family and i are in a pickle and they seem to not care, but i’m going to do some research and take action. we all love popcorn, we have this microwaveable popcorn maker and we reallly love it, whenever we make popcorn we vent the whole house by opening windows, however when ever we make it the fire alarm will go off for about 20 secs and turn off, it will then go off again in 2 mins, and this pattern repeats. at first we found this so strange and we were scared but now we just leave the house for a couple hours to let it stop. but currently as i’m writing this it is almost 4 in the morning and it keeps waking us up. could anyone help me?