Raising alarms

Raising alarms

Raising alarms

Nate Billings

Fires are a serious threat to the welfare of students.

That is, if a fire occurs in the residence halls, students need to know what to do.

Ken Kennedy, manager of public safety, said the students in the halls go through one fire drill at the beginning of the semester as a reminder and reassurance of the proper procedures.

So far this semester, there have not been any reports of false alarms.

If anyone is caught pulling an alarm as a prank, then that student is threatened with academic suspension.

The second time, the student will not attend classes and face possible criminal charges.

“It’s a federal crime to pull a fire alarm,” said Adam Griffin, residence director of East Hall.

There is only one main deterrent to the pranks.

“We ask for the cooperation and help from the students,” Kennedy said.

“If someone pulls too many (alarms), the students will start ignoring it,” Griffin said. “The students are then at risk.”

Kennedy said a new fire alarm system was also installed in Reynolds Hall.

The Department of Public Safety will conduct a test of the system sometime in the future.

Kennedy said the test time will not be announced because students may not leave the hall as they are supposed to.

“It’s good to do this because you forget what the alarms sound like,” he said.

Kennedy also said the faculty members are subject to the same rules regarding alarms. They must evacuate the building and gather outside just like the students.

Burnt toast has been blamed for one alarm this semester, but toasters are still allowed in the residence halls.

Griffin and Kennedy advised the students to remove open-top hot plates and open flames such as candles.

Faculty members are not allowed to have these items either.

Toaster ovens, toasters, and George Foreman Grills are allowed in the halls.

“Nobody wants to be woken up by these alarms,” Griffin said. “But, bare with us as we go through these procedures.”

One student does not mind the procedures for fire drills, but has an issue with the tornado drill.

“I find it a really horrible idea during a tornado drill to go outside and go to another hall,” said Nicholas Haring, sophomore CIS major.

Residents are required to move to Stegge Hall in case of a tornado.

He said the fire drill makes sense as it is a straight-forward plan to get away from the building as soon as possible.