Meeting to address fire and building codes for greek housing

By Kim Harris

There will be a mandatory meeting concerning new changes in the fire and building codes for all presidents, house managers and risk managers from greek housing.

The meeting is being held at 7 p.m., Sept. 15 in the Holmes Student Center, room 505.

“The meeting was called by the fire department, but they didn’t go into great detail about the meeting,” said Dawn Sturma, activities adviser for Greek Affairs.

“We typically have this kind of meeting to set the tone, but both the police and fire chief want to start the year off good,” she said.

Both DeKalb Police Chief Donald Burke and Acting Fire Chief Reuban Nelson will be attending the meeting along with John Swedburg, a Fire Code Prevention team member.

“To my knowledge, nothing like this has been done before,” said Swedburg. “We thought that it would be good to get all entities together in one meeting.”

The only change in the fire and building code is because of the Illinois Public Act of 1987. It states that all smoke detectors must be hooked up to hard wires (120 volts) by 1995.

“We want to be up-front with everyone, let them know why we’re there, what’s allowed in rooms and what isn’t. We want to work with the students,” Swedburg said. “It’s time that some money was spent to get these houses back up to snuff.”

According to Sturma there has been an increase in fires not only on campus but in DeKalb as a whole. Swedburg added that there have been three fires in the houses within this year.

“I have gotten several calls from houses that did not pass their inspections, but they are not concerned that their houses are unsafe,” Sturma said. “It’s just an overall safety issue.”

Swedburg said students need to know what is going on in their building and they deserve explanations as to why they cannot do certain things.

“It is the students job to go school, and it is our job to make sure that their houses are safe while they do,” said Swedburg.