Sensitive fire alarms raise complaints in dorms

By: Matthew Revels, Staff Writer

Fire alarms are used for safety, but occasionally, they can be over sensitive and go off at random times. This has been an issue during this school year for the residents of Carrocci Hall at Newman.

Alarms in the dorm have gone off nine times this year, and every time, the fire department has been dispatched to campus. Every time, a blaring siren has sounded throughout the dorm and residents have been forced to evacuate.

But each time, there was no fire to fight.

Director of Residence life Turner Middendorf says that the alarms in Carrocci are just sensitive.

“There was a room in Carrocci that had been vacant since last May,” he said. “I had a resident decide she would like to move rooms and I moved her to that room. After sitting vacant for about seven months, the fire department believes that the smoke detector was picking up something it didn't like.”

Middendorf said that the next morning, he tried cleaning the alarm out with pressurized air, but that caused it to go off again.

Finally, he said, he just replaced the alarm in that room.

“Maintenance swapped that detector out with a new one, and we have not had a problem in the week since,” he said.

The problems should be fixed, Middendorf said, but he wants residents to know that any alarm must be taken seriously.

“Residents must vacate the building any time the alarm goes off, regardless of whether it is believed that it could be a false alarm or not”

Carrocci third floor RA Rebecca Hageman says that false alarms have become a big problem and that she hopes the issue has been resolved.

“I have a love-hate relationship with the fire alarms,” she said. “It is awesome that they are here to protect us, but they are very, very sensitive to the point that every time the fire department has to come out, it’s a false alarm.”

Photo: Matthew Revels, Staff Writer