House 2: fire alarms

By Christine Blom
April 7, 2005

Cecelia Francisco

Its 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning. It’s raining, I’m sick and it’s a cold April morning. There are about 25 people standing outside the main entrance of House 2 and there are approximately another 10 standing by the path. Everyone’s eyes are half-open and everyone is hoping, this time, maybe public safety will show up within the first 20 minutes that the alarm started its shrieking.

In this last semester, the fire alarm in House 2 has gone off so many times it is too hard to count on two hands. Whether it is just as everyone is about to go to bed, the middle of the night or as the sun is coming up in the wee hours of the morning, it is pretty safe to say that everyone in the house is pretty fed up with the more-than-weekly ordeal. It is almost a guarantee that if it is a Thursday on Cabrini’s campus, the fire alarm is about to sound sometime between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.

Some people feel as if it could be an attempt made by public safety to get into the rooms of students, to spy or catch them in the midst of acts that would be deemed inappropriate by the college. Some feel that it is just a bunch of drunk jerks trying to annoy everyone. Some think it could be due to the lack of ventilation and the way people smoke in their rooms incessantly, even though the windows were open and the smoke detector itself was covered.

Yes, there are certain instances in which it is understandable for the fire alarm to be going off such as the hot water heater breaking or the laundry room getting too steamy. In fact, it is perfectly normal for a false alarm to take place.

Contrary to popular belief, some college students do not like being up at all hours of the night, especially being startled by the ear-piercing volume of a fire alarm. And what is being done in the house to fix this ongoing problem and annoyance? There needs to be something done about the problem that is lingering and haunting the dreams of House 2 residents.

If not this year, then for next years residents, the sensitivity of the fire alarms needs to be adjusted and the issues focused on. We pay $33,000 a year for tuition, you would think that the fire standards would be up to par.

What are we going to do when there is a real fire? Students are going to stay in their rooms like they already do so that they do not have to deal with the tedious and repetitious process of going outside in the worst weather conditions. This could lead to injuries and fatalities that could have been resolved if the alarms did not go off every six seconds.

Don’t you think this situation sort of parallels the fairy tale we learned as kids, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf?”

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Christine Blom

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