Bad cooks and hot showers cause incessant fire alarms

Students flooded out of residence halls in response to a fire drill on Thursday night, and this was not the first time for most students.

Lindsey Birt, Butler University Police Department environmental health and safety specialist, said there have been 17 fire alarms that have gone off since Aug. 22 at Butler.

Schwitzer Hall set off five alarms, and Apartment Village set off three.

These two buildings combined have set off almost half of the fire alarms. Birt said most of these alarms have been set off by burnt food and steam from showers.

Greg Harris, residence life coordinator, said the reason  the alarms have been set off in Apartment Village is because the sensors were cleaned in the summer. They are more sensitive, and shower steam can set off  alarms.

Residence life staff is encouraging resident assistants to talk at unit meetings about microwaving safely so the alarms are not set off, said Karla Cunningham, director of residence life.

Birt said an alarm is called a fire alarm activation when something actually sets it off. A drill is supervised, and the response to the drill is observed.

Fire drills are a federal and state requirement. Each year, four drills must be done in the residence halls, one in academic buildings and four in Atherton Union.

Freshman Ashley Crossland, a resident of Schwitzer Hall, said she feels that having these alarms go off continually will be dangerous.

“If there was an actual fire, I don’t really hurry to get out anymore,” Crossland said. “I’m kind of like, ‘just another false alarm.’ ”

Cunningham said that students should be thinking of multiple ways to exit the building in case of a real emergency.

“The time to think about those emergency egresses are in the daylight when there is no emergency,” she said.

Cunningham also said taking drills seriously is important.

“We want people always to exit the buildings as quickly and as safely as possible,” Cunningham said. “People should always take it seriously, no matter what time of day it is or what the weather is outside.”

 

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