Random fire alarms going off through the middle of the night in the Hales the past few months have left students feeling angry, frustrated and questioning why they have been going off. The loud, blaring fire alarms have been disturbing residents’ sleep and causing distress as they are sounding off for no apparent reason.
“I think the faulty fire alarms are an issue because none of us take [the fire alarms] seriously anymore. If there is a real emergency, nobody is going to leave their beds because we all just think it’s another false alarm,” explained Dev Beatson, a sophomore from New Zealand majoring in psychology.
As a resident of the Hales, Beatson said it was really frustrating to put in a full day at work and school only to go home and be woken up multiple times throughout the night because the fire alarms are going off for no obvious reason.
Mahonri Eteru, a sophomore majoring in psychology from Australia, said hearing fire alarms at 3 a.m. has been annoying. “It’s not fun being woken up right in the middle of the night to loud fire alarms. I find myself yelling at 3 a.m. because I have to wake up early and I have no idea what’s going on.”
Eteru said there were weeks earlier in the semester where the fire alarms would go off several times a week.
As the fire alarms have been going off often this past semester, Beatson shared, “When they run real drills, as blunt as it sounds, I genuinely don’t care and just ignore it because for the first few months I would get up for every single drill. Now, it just feels like a bit of a joke. If there’s a real emergency, nobody is going to take it seriously.”
Beatson said she has not been made aware of the actual issue behind the faulty fire alarms from the school or anything official.
Marvin Latchumanan, a senior majoring in communications and residential assistant [RA] for Hale 3, said he has been told from senior RA’s the fire alarms going off are out of their control.
“From what I’m told, a lot of times when the alarms go off and start going crazy, there are some factors to it. I’ve heard that the humidity could be causing it, or there may be a resident cooking and setting them off.”
Latchumanan added, “We aren’t even totally sure of the real reason as to why the fire alarms are going off. I also think the school needs to be better at giving out information on the problem.”
As an RA for Hale 3, he explained the procedure in case of emergency is to wait for an RA to see what they have to say.
“As a resident, your safety is our priority, so if there is a real fire, we still don’t want people to take things lightly. Go out and have a look and if there doesn’t appear to be a problem, use your judgement as to what is happening.
“It’s our responsibility to get the message to everyone if there’s an emergency. We have gathering points and we will get a headcount of everyone to make sure everybody is accounted for.”