By Jeremy Binning
One of the most stressed issues within college campuses is safety, more specifically in the dormitories. There are countless examples throughout college dorms in which students fail to follow safety procedures that often lead to serious damage and in rare cases, death.
Of the many rules implemented, one that is commonly broken is the disabling of fire alarms. The alarms are put in place to alert not just the people housing the room, but the entire building itself to avoid the fire spreading. This is crucial as this could lead to injuries and deaths. Senior Eliaser Perez has lived on campus for three years, most recently in Macomb Hall, and has been the victim of a fire alarm going off in his room.
“It was my sophomore year and I had a few candles burning in my room as I fell asleep. I guess because it generated so much smoke the alarm went off,” Perez said. “At first it woke me up and I thought it was someone else who set it off until I came back upstairs and saw the fire marshall waiting for me at my door.”
Thankfully, no one was harmed and he was able to get away with just a citation, but it also led to another example of preventing an incident: the banning of candles. Another universal rule in college dormitories is not having candles in the rooms. This is proven to be dangerous from Perez’s encounter in his room, but he was lucky. That situation could have been much more dangerous and have led to an actual fire that could have done serious damage.
This may come as a shock, but candles aren’t the only object that can lead to serious harm in dorms. Another safety precaution put into place is against the overuse of outlets. Students often time decide to fill every outlet with plugs for their chargers, refrigerators, etc. In some cases, too much power is generated from one outlet, especially if it uses as much power as a refrigerator does, and can lead to an overload, causing electrical fires. This is much more dangerous than a fire started by a candle due to the fact that the explosion of one socket could quickly travel through the building faster than a fire from a candle could.
Zaniah Smalls, a senior who now lives off-campus, detailed how her room almost was set in flames after plugging too many devices into one extension cord.
“I had my fridge, TV and hair dryer all plugged into one extension cord along with my phone and computer charger. I would do it all the time at home, so I did not think anything of it, until one night when I was watching a show, I heard a static shock sound and my TV shut off,” Small said. “I started smelling smoke and got really scared, but thankfully, my friend was with me and unplugged the cord from the wall. I never put more than three things in on one outlet after that.”
Although it wasn’t in a dorm on campus, instances like this happen more than often due to carelessness by students. It is a reminder that these rules are placed for safety no matter how outrageous they may seem.