Fire, a major saftey concern on campus

By Kristen Catalanotto Christop
September 18, 2003

Steph Mangold

FIRE!

That exact word was running through many of the freshmen residents’ minds on their first night in their new home, Woodcrest Hall. The girls shuffled outside only to realize that the fire was actually steam coming from over-popped popcorn.

Fire safety is an important issue not just on Cabrini’s campus but for other colleges and universities all over the country.

In 2000, Seton Hall University in New Jersey learned all too well the damaging effects a fire can have on campus. Tragically, three students were killed and more than 50 students were injured after a fire erupted in Boland Hall. Several students either chose to ignore the alarm or take their time exiting the building because of numerous false alarms they had experienced in the weeks leading up to the tragedy.

When asked what steps Cabrini is taking to ensure the safety of its students, Director of Residence Life, George Stroud said, “the residence life staff along with Public Safety work hard to provide a safe environment for all Cabrini College students. This is especially true when it comes to addressing fire safety.”

All incoming freshmen as well as returning residents are notified as to what is prohibited in their rooms on campus. The items that students aren’t allowed to bring is for their own safety. “These items include but are not limited to any open flame… halogen lamps, non UL approved extension cords, and most cooking appliances,” Stroud said. The resident assistant staff will conduct monthly health and safety inspections in each dormitory room on campus to guarantee that students follow the policies.

To ensure that students are familiar with the evacuation process, practice fire drills will happen periodically throughout the 2003-2004 school year. The evacuation should be quick and smooth if the residents are aware to their surroundings.

“It is our expectation that every person inside of the building will exit and remain outside until the fire alarm has been cleared,” Stroud stated.

If a fire were to ever break out within one of the residence halls, the Cabrini College handbook states that the college is not responsible for any personal belongings that are destroyed or damaged during such an event.

Concerning the issue of damage to personal property George Stroud and the office of residence life suggests, “Residents and their parents are encouraged to go through their homeowner’s insurance. Another option for residents is to purchase renters insurance. Both of these policies should help to cover the cost of personal items lost or destroyed in a fire.”

For more information concerning fire safety, see the Cabrini College handbook:

www.cabrini.edu/Primary/Students/student_handbook.pdf.

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Kristen Catalanotto Christop

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