It's a common problem with a lot of adventure games and Blackwell, from what I've played so far, certainly has plenty of them. I have an idea about how to make something work, but the game won't let me because I apparently haven't discovered it yet. No credit for being inventive or innovative on your own, you need to have been told that you can do something before you can do it.
Blackwell is particularly bad about not letting you pick up inventory or use items because you don't yet see the need. Like that fire alarm, it seems to make plenty of sense to pull it and then sneak back in and grab the notebook, but that isn't the "correct" solution so Rosa refuses. Considering there are so few objects to interact with I'm pretty sure I'll end up having to do just that later on (like checking out the room of that ridiculously suspicious RA), but not until you're told you can. Or paging the hospital guard away so you can steal the key and get into the fuse box... nope, Rosa just has no imagination.
The fire-alarm thing was my first thought too, as was the pager+key+fusebox thing to get in to Susan. I'd been beating my head against a wall, trying every mathematically possible permutation of those actions before I gave in and checked a walkthrough only to discover that I was dealing with this stupid bug all the time! Why is Joey unable to think of a way to use his own powers? It's like he isn't aware of them until they're spelled out to Rosa ( even though she'd already seen him blow stuff around when he first appeared!). So frustrating to deal with this crap in a game I was just getting into.