“Fire safety inspection, may I come in?”
No. No. NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.
If you’ve ever had a similar reaction when fire safety comes knocking on your door, then you are probably a somewhat normal Princeton student. Let’s face it: Fire safety isn’t always your best friend. Whether it’s receiving a $50 fine for putting too many stickers on your window or waking up to a fire drill two hours before your first class, we all have moments when we wish fire safety would stop, drop and roll right out of our lives. Though you can’t say that you enjoy watching someone meticulously search every crevice of your room while you are awkwardly wrapped up in a blanket on your bed, you can always say that, no matter what, fire safety has your back.
You want to know who doesn’t have your back? Your professors, your roommates, the geniuses who got A's in your Orgo class, eating club bouncers — excluding Domingo, of course — and that girl in your hall who told you once that late meal ends at 10:30 instead of 10 (CURSE YOU, I really wanted that Klondike bar!). Everyone in this entire world has an agenda. Even your so-called friends probably only like you because you keep providing them with passes to TI. Leave them hanging next weekend, and I guarantee you’ll be eating Sunday brunch alone. When you don’t know whom to trust in this bleak and joyless world, that’s when you can turn to fire safety.
Who else besides fire safety would inform you that putting a Justin Bieber poster on your bedroom door will prevent you from identifying that doorway as a means of egress? Trust me: There is nothing worse than being trapped in a room with a fire raging outside while Justin Bieber stares you down, crooning, “We’re chillin’ by the fire; now we’re eatin’ fondue.” Because then you actually start thinking about the lyrics and realize that you can’t really “chill” by a fire — and why, Justin, would I think about fondue at a time like this?! — and then the flames engulf you.
So though we may hate fire safety inspectors from time to time, there is no denying that they are just looking out for us. This love-hate relationship should be treasured forever and, despite its ups and downs, the love is always there. Even when I find myself freshly showered, wrapped in a towel and dripping wet as fire safety bangs on my door demanding inspection, I can’t help but be overcome by feelings of safety. And fireproof-ness.
Still not exactly thrilled by the prospect of the upcoming room inspections? Try a different approach: Turn the fines you receive from fire safety into a competition. Which one of your friends will be fined the most by the end of the school year? Try putting posters on your windows and on your door. Put more posters on the posters on your door. Hang random shit from the ceiling. Place a cat in front of the entryway. Play “Fire Burning” while the inspectors check your room. Psh, your friend was fined $200 last month? Rub the $350 fine you just received in his face and watch him cry softly in a corner (you probably should, too).
You see, fire safety doesn’t always have to be your worst enemy. Like a troubled soul, it is often simply misunderstood. In the end, we all know that we need fire safety in our lives.
It’s nice, occasionally, to know that we have a watchful protector that checks up on us every so often and fines us an ungodly amount of money when we misbehave. Though they must endure condemnation from the majority of the student body, fire safety inspectors still keep an attentive eye on our well-being, and therefore we should appreciate their existence. Fire safety is the hero Princeton students deserve, just not the hero we want when we’re seriously trying to sleep and it's way too early and way too cold to leave our beds for a fire drill. But we don’t always get what we want, and once the biting cold clears our sleep-foggy minds, we understand that if there were a fire — there’s not, but on the off chance there were — these are the guys we would want barging in on us.
Fire safety, you are a beautiful, beautiful thing. Don’t ever leave me.