On Tuesday, Sept. 4, residents of The Commons residence hall evacuated their building for the fifth time that day. This repeated event brought the total number to eight fire alarms that set off in the past two weeks for that building. Residents assumed the alarms were false and just students pulling the alarms themselves, while others blamed it on the weather.
On the York Hill campus, residents in The Crescent had to evacuate their rooms when a fire alarm went off at 3 a.m. Chief of Public Safety, David Barger, explained all alarms weren’t false, and resulted from different student activities.
“All five fire alarms that went off in the Commons have been ‘bonafide,’ meaning that none of these were false alarms,” Barger said, stating that students smoking, cooking or even burning their bags of popcorn contributed to setting off the sensitive alarms.
Crescent’s early morning evacuation was cooking related, according to Barger. The alarms function as they are supposed to, Barger said. They detect the faintest smell of smoke to prevent any major damage.
“This is a very sophisticated system, working to detect small amounts of smoke, so that small fires don’t become big fires,” Barger said.
Students were impressed with the intricate and effective device, but still found the constant alarms frustrating.
“It’s good that these fire alarms are so sensitive, because I feel safer knowing that they detect any small amount of smoke,” Commons resident Stefanie Vitulli said. “But it does get annoying when they go off every time someone burns a bag of popcorn.”