Not A False Alarm

"There have been nearly as many pulled fire alarms in residence halls in 2010 as there were in the past three years combined, according to University Police reports.

"As of Nov. 11, there have been 18 false alarms reported on campus, 10 of which were in Hart Hall.

"Incidents in Hart Hall include three false alarms pulled between the hours of 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on April 11, 2010. More recently, six false alarms were pulled on various floors of Hart Hall between Sept. 26 and Oct. 17, all of which occurred at about 5 a.m.

"University Police Chief Cynthia Adams described the current situation in Hart Hall as an "alarming increase."

"Often, U.P. is unable to find a suspect when responding to a false alarm.

"According to Rick Kolenda, director of Residence Life and Housing (Res. Life), a combined effort between U.P., Res. Life, and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Fire Marshal Timothy Ganey, are working together to ensure new measures are being taken to stop the alarms from being pulled, as well as to find whomever may be responsible for pulling them.

"Kolenda said there are a number of ways Res. Life is responding. First, by making sure the community is aware of the incidents and that residents are aware of what they should do when they see a false alarm pulled or know of anyone responsible for pulling a false alarm.

"Secondly, Res. Life and EHS have worked together to invest in more sophisticated equipment to help U.P. determine persons responsible for the false reports. Kolenda was unable to discuss in detail information on the new equipment, as well as further actions that will be taken, but stressed Res. Life would continue to take steps in solving this issue.

"Kolenda is concerned students will not take fire alarms seriously as a result of the continuous false alarms. He hoped students would continue to take them seriously as the alarms are meant to protect students in times of an emergency.

"Ganey explained the alarms systems installed throughout the residence halls are "intelligent detection systems." U.P. and EHS can tell which alarms are set off and why because the alarm communicates with a main panel that describes the source and cause of an alarm.