BY SAM ZAPORA // DEC. 5, 2011 //
Following the Oct. 30 bathroom fire in North Hall, some students have questioned the electrical integrity of the older dorms they live in on campus. Those fears, however, are largely unnecessary, according to Residence Life.
“The town of Milton comes through our residence halls several times a year to insure that we’re up to the safety code’s standards,” said Erik Muurisepp, director of Residence Life & Housing.
Muurisepp said the local fire department inspected the wiring in and around the fan unit, where the North Hall fire began, and found that it wasn’t responsible for the fire. The device’s overheating and the ensuing fire was an isolated occurrence, Muurisepp said, and there were no indications that the fire occurred due to old wiring.
Still, some students maintain a level of concern. “I live in Scholars; it’s an old building… lights will flicker and outlets sometimes spark,” said Amber Caplan, a freshman communication major. “It’s scary to imagine that [a fire] could happen to me.”
Others, such as junior communication major and Main House RA Andrew Devine, have faith in the system and its safety procedures. “Bad wires or faulty fans, if it happens, it happens,” he said. “This seemed like an isolated incident, and I don’t think it has anything to do with the integrity of the buildings.”
According to the United States Fire Administration, there are roughly 3,800 fires in university housing every year. Of those, 6.8 percent occur in dorm bathrooms. From 2007 to 2009, there were no deaths as a result of a university housing fire, and only a handful of injuries.