False fire alarms can be prevented

By Jordan Radloff

The fire alarms have gone off three times at Neptune Residence Hall in two weeks, according to residents, resulting in mandatory evacuations of the building. It can be frustrating for students to have to wait outside their residence halls at inconvenient times of the day, and students need to be more aware of the university’s fire prevention and safety rules in order to avoid setting off fire alarms.

Some of the causes for recent fire evacuations have been smoke from candles and steam from bathrooms, Neptune Community Adviser Steffi Delgado said at an Oct. 1 floor meeting. Residents should be mindful of the list of items that may cause fires or falsely trigger the alarms.

According to the Fire Prevention Program of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, the most common causes of fires are:

•Unattended cooking: microwaves

•Open flame devices: candles, incense burners

•Inappropriate use of extension cords: missing surge protectors

•Overload of electrical circuits: too many devices plugged in

•Heating devices: space heaters

•Smoking: already prohibited across campus


Even though some residents may think their actions won’t result in a fire, they can still cause a mandatory evacuation due to a false fire alarm. This may cause other residents, especially those who comply with fire safety rules, when evacuations happen late in the evening or while they are taking a shower.

“One time the fire alarm went off close to midnight,” Bryan Vargas, first-year music education major, said. “I was really mad because I was planning on going to sleep early, but I had to stay outside for 30 minutes in the cold.”

The fire prevention procedures document is important for students to be familiar with. In order to prevent further unnecessary false alarms in residence halls, students need to be more informed on how to comply with University safety policies.

The Clery Act 2019 Annual Fire Safety Report includes some of these important fire safety precautions that students need to be more aware of. Inspections of dorm rooms may be conducted by staff of Housing and Residential Services, Physical Plant and the Environmental Health and Safety departments, according to the report.

“I was frustrated by the fire evacuation that happened after marching band when I was trying to eat,” Alexander Moore, first-year music education major, said. “By the time the evacuation was over, Neptune Dining Hall was closed, and I was unable to eat there. I believe that the fire safety rules are easily accessible to students. They are on the housing page of the school website.”