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Dorm’s repeated fire alarms annoy Ohio State students

Fire alarms have gone off at least 10 times in the Residence on 10th since Aug. 19.
Alarms were sounded three different times during the week of Nov. 4. because of smoke in the common area, according to an email sent to residents from hall director Mary Anne Wilk and assistant hall director Cheria Dial.
“The alarm was caused by an elevated heating unit near a detector at one of our building entrances. The heating unit was emitting smoke due to a chemical coating which protects the unit’s heating coils,” the email said.
The most recent alarm on Nov. 12 was “due to a surge in water levels within the building’s fire pump.” This was also the cause of a fire alarm that went off at 2 a.m. earlier in the semester.
Water levels could surge if a sprinkler is deployed, indicating a fire. But this was not the case with these two alarms and the sensitivity of water level detection is being changed to resolve this issue, the email said.
In each of these situations the alarm functioned as it should, said Russ Foust, manager for fire prevention and safety in the Office of Student Life, in an email.
Issues like this are part of opening a new building and are to be expected, Foust said.
“As with all new things, there is a period of adjustment, and we have reprogrammed some alarms to adjust to the environment,” he said.
According to an October Lantern article, the building cost $51 million to build and houses more than 500 students, some of which said that after a while, they have started to ignore the alarms.
“The first time it went off was in the middle of the night, so I didn’t think it was a drill,” said Carly Gubin, a first-year in exploration. “The second time I didn’t know what was going on, I didn’t think it was real.”
Some university officials are worried about the students’ lack of concern toward the alarms.
While none of the alarms have been a result of an actual fire, students should absolutely still respond to the them, said Dave Isaacs, spokesman for Student Life.
None of the alarms were “false alarms,” Isaacs said.
“We want them to heed the fire alarms when they go off and we certainly don’t want alarms to go off unnecessarily,” he added.
For some students living in the Residence on 10th, the frequency of the fire alarms is frustrating.
“I was in the middle of a nap (during the second occurrence of the alarms going off). I was really annoyed,” said Michaela Miller, a first-year in business.
Despite her irritation, Miller said she could understand something like this happening in a new building.
“It probably shouldn’t be happening, but there are always little kinks and stuff that go along with new buildings,” she said. “So it’s understandable, but it’s still pretty annoying.”

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