Be very alarmed; residence hall fire alarm didn’t sound

By Monica Burke
November 17, 2006

How often do you think about your safety when it comes to fire? Most students do not think twice about fire safety. Why would you? We are surrounded by preventative measures that are installed to ensure that our lives are not in jeopardy.

Within our dorms, apartments and residence halls there are sprinkler systems, alarms, and other mechanisms to comfort us in the case of an emergency.

My apartment came furnished with a fire escape ladder. Now imagine what it would be like if the mechanisms put into place to protect you did not do what they were expected to do in the case of an emergency.

Having experienced this myself, I can assure you it is a terrifying experience. Recently, a late-night cooking accident tripped our fire alarm.

The alarm went off as was expected, but there was one very major problem. In the building the fire alarm is located in the stairwell, serving four apartments.

We realized there was a major problem when a public safety officer burst through our bedroom door at three in the morning. Why is this? We couldn’t hear the fire alarm.

As we were ushered outside, sleepily, I found myself wondering what would have happened if there had been a fire and public safety hadn’t arrived? Why hadn’t the fire department come when the alarm went off? And most importantly, who was taking my safety in their hands?

Even if safety precautions are taken, they must be efficient. So when it comes to fire safety, remain aware and always remember who is looking out for you.

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Monica Burke

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