Response to possible fire alarming

I applaud the administration and Student Government Association for reviewing the campus for unsafe areas. Their visual inspection of the campus found several areas that need to be improved. Unfortunately, visual inspection cannot determine the effectiveness of the fire alarm system.

The only way to ascertain if this warning system is working correctly is by using it. Sept. 28 this system failed. The alarm went off in the Applied Science and Technology Building, for whatever reason, around 10:45 a.m., and sounded for approximately 25 minutes. The students in several classrooms did not exit the building while the alarm was sounding, mostly because the alarm outside room 248 was not activated.

There was no response from emergency services, on campus or off, until about 11:10. When the alarm was turned off, students began to reenter the building, only to be told by campus police that they had to exit again.

When asked why they didn’t respond until that time, an officer replied that no one had called the police until recently, and that the officers’ response time was less than a minute.

I may be mistaken, but I always thought the alarm system was directly connected to the dispatch center and response did not hinge on a phone call.

If this is not the case, then the student body should be notified of this and be told to act accordingly.

If this is the case, then there is a problem with the system. When students attend elementary, middle and high school, it is required that a certain number of fire drills be performed each school year.

While I don’t think this is necessary for college students, information about these procedures needs to be disseminated to the students. At the very least, exit maps, like those found in other public buildings, should be posted in each classroom.

With all the construction on campus, I realize there have been an inordinate number of false alarms this semester. In the interest of safety, students need to know how to respond to these type of situations.

Judi Paul senior math major