Hair spray sets off fire alarms in residential life

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No joke!
Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 6:14pm

Not only one, but two fire alarms went off in one weekend. One was in Aaron Jones and the other in Sessions Residential Life Halls. There have been many rumors throughout campus that said the fire alarms were pranks. It has also been said that they were drills or even people smoking inside the residence halls. Although these are colorful stories, they are not true. What really caused the fire alarms to go off in AJ and Sessions was hair spray.

Many people will argue that hair spray cannot cause the fire alarms to go off, but it can. James Prettyman, director of public safety, said that it can in fact cause the alarms to go off without a flame. There are two sensors that can detect fire. The first is the heat sensor. This one detects heat in the room, whether it is from an actual fire or any device that produces heat. If heat gets too close to the sensor, the alarm will be triggered.

The second sensor is the smoke sensor. This sensor is what will detect the smoke that fills the room, but this sensor is so sensitive it could possibly mistake perfume, cologne, or even hairspray for smoke. This is exactly what happened in AJ and Sessions. An individual was using hairspray and it got too close to the sensor and caused the alarm to be triggered.

Prettyman said these recent alarms were not pranks, they were accidents. Accidents are expected and will be taken care of without any problems, but pranks will not. If an individual decides to pull a prank it will result in fines and possibly jail time. Pulling the fire alarm is a Class B misdemeanor. “Pulling the fire alarm is not a prank, it is a criminal act!” says Prettyman. “By pulling the fire alarm, you are interrupting people lives. Whether they are studying, doing homework, cooking, cleaning, etc., their lives are being interrupted. “

It is great to say that there have not been any fire alarms pulled this year. Last year there were three that were pulled as a prank. This year Prettyman is hoping that there will be no prank, but if there are the culprits will get the consequences.

This year there have been upgrades being done to AJ. The fire system is one of those changes. There has been $250,000 invested into upgrading the fire systems in AJ alone. Do not abuse the fire systems because a lot of money and time are going into making the system better.

Prettyman advises the students living in the residence halls to stay away from the sensors when using heat or any form of spray. Also do not hang your clothes from the sensors, it may be convenient but can cause damage.

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