Fire alarms in house 2

By defaultuser
April 21, 2005

This is in response to the April 7 article that was written by Christine Blom. In the article, the student voiced concern over the amount of fire alarms that have been activated in Dixon House or House 2. While I agree with the author that there have been a considerable number of fire alarms, I must disagree with the assertion that the alarms are a result of the system not being “up to par.”

After reading Ms. Blom’s article, I reviewed the information concerning each fire alarm that has occurred this semester in House 2. By reviewing the information I have found that to date there have been 11 fire alarms in the house this semester. Of these 11 fire alarms, 10 have resulted from someone tampering with the fire safety equipment. Specifically, these alarms were set by someone activating a pull box or setting off a smoke detector. Based on this information, I can only conclude that the fire safety equipment in House 2 is functioning properly.

In the article Ms. Blom wants to know what is being done to resolve this issue. Before I address her question I must first ask: What are the students doing to resolve the issue? I agree that there are too many fire alarms in House 2 as well as other halls throughout the campus. But the fact is that the vast majority of the alarms in the residence halls are set by residents and/or guests of the residents. What is even more disturbing is that there are people who have knowledge of who is responsible for activating the alarms but refuse to reveal any information. By remaining quiet and not holding your peers accountable, you are telling these people that you agree with their negative behavior.

Now to answer what it is that the College does to address the issue. Our first step is to make sure that the system is functioning as it should. The fire safety equipment is tested every year to ensure that it is “up to par.” If there are any problems detected with the fire safety system during the test, those issues are corrected immediately. After testing the equipment we try to educate the campus on the dangers of tampering with the safety equipment. This issue is addressed at orientation, first floor meetings, on bulletin boards, etc. By educating the students it is our hope that everyone will realize that tampering with the safety equipment can lead to potentially tragic results. Finally, there are the Public Safety Officers and Residence Life staff. Both groups work hard to monitor the behavior of the students and to make sure that the conditions in the residence halls are safe.

With all of the College’s efforts to make the residence halls safe, it is a difficult task without the assistance of the residents. This is your community, and we need for the students to hold each other accountable for negative behavior.

Please remember that this is your community and we need your help to make it safe.

George Stroud
Director of Residence Life

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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