Student abuse of fire alarms causes problems in dorms

Students Abuse Fire Alarms

Fire drills will be occurring on Wednesday and Thursday.
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Cole Figus | Staff Reporter

Students Abuse Fire AlarmsPulling the fire alarm, a common student prank at Lindenwood, has been increasing in recent years. It is against the law to tamper with fire equipment, and doing so could result in federal charges.

Students get annoyed when their dorms’ fire alarms go off when there is no actual problem, especially when it happens late at night.

Sophomore Leigh Borgers has had multiple experiences of her dorm’s fire alarm going off because of a prank. One of them occurred at 1 a.m. “I had to stand outside in my pajamas, and it was sleeting,” she said.

However, pulling a fire alarm is more than just a minor inconvenience for firefighters and school authorities. Responding to a fire alarm is costly for firefighters, and it takes a lot of effort for them to get to campus.

A fake alarm can be especially bad if it makes the firefighters slower in responding to an actual fire because they are tied up responding to a prank.

In the event of a real or fake fire, Lindenwood is responsible for each student. Director of Housing Michelle Giessman said she is afraid that these fake fire alarm calls will turn into a boy-who-cried-wolf situation.  If students keep pulling fire alarms as pranks, then students can become desensitized and decide not to evacuate their dorms when the fire alarms go off.

“This is a huge liability for the school,” Giessman said. “Lindenwood will be fined for each student who does not evacuate.  It is also a big concern for some handicapped students because they have a harder time evacuating when the elevators are turned off.”

The prank can unintentionally cause severe problems, and Lindenwood’s faculty wants all students to be considerate of each other. Giessman also warned students about another fire-related offense.

“Another issue is students tampering with their fire detectors or having items that are not allowed in the dorms,” she said.

Smoking and having a microwave in a dorm room are also against the rules to prevent the smoke detectors from going off.