Usage guidance for a popcorn machine in the kitchenette

Raymond Chen

My colleague KC Lemson tipped me off to a sign hanging next to a popcorn machine in one of the kitchens:

Please do not leave
popcorn kettle on

while unattended.
The fire truck will
, and they don’t
want any popcorn.


A friend of mine happened to have a chat with a fire fighter who used to be assigned to the fire station nearest to Microsoft main campus. According to him, the top three reasons for being called to a Microsoft building are (in no particular order)

  • Burnt popcorn.
  • Somebody has a panic attack and mistakes it for a heart attack.
  • Somebody pulls the fire alarm because they are under a lot of stress because they missed a deadline, and they think pulling the fire alarm will buy them some time. (Where do they think they are, college?)

This week is Fire Prevention Week.