The topic of fire drills have come into conversation recently regarding whether or not they help students be aware of the possibility of a fire on campus. As fire drills are regularly practiced in grade schools and high schools, it would seem that the average person would be conditioned to know what to do when a drill goes off.
In Founder’s Hall, fire drills are routine for once or twice each semester. However, they can be quite the disturbance for those who are teaching class and those who are attending class.
Maria Connelly, junior marketing major, was very irritated when one of her classes was interrupted by a fire drill in Founder’s Hall.
“They’re not necessary in anyway because everyone knows they are fake,” Connelly said. “Even if there is a real fire, we all know how to respond to it, which makes the idea of a fire drill is sort of pointless.”
Connelly also took note that the reason people get so irked with fire alarms is because it is something they have been responding to their entire life.
“I vaguely remember going through fire drills regularly in first grade, so what is the use of going through something I’ve been doing since the age of six?” Connelly said. “We were in the middle of completing a test when the fire alarm went off, so it was really just a giant distraction.”
Similarly, Brandon Weaver, junior marketing major who experiences fire drills in the comfort of his own house on campus, spoke out against the noisy alarms.
“In house seven, we have had fire alarms go off a couple times this year, mostly during the night,” Weaver said, “It can be very annoying.”
Weaver expressed the importance that the fire alarm can be beneficial in terms of an actual fire or emergency, but did not condone the faulty issues and tests that come with the ones in the Sullivan house.
“I think it’s annoying how they test the fire alarms at inconvenient times in the day and night,” Weaver said. “I think the more fire drills, the worse, because people barely take them seriously to begin with.”
Joseph Fusco, the director of Cabrini’s public safety department, spoke quite frankly about why drills occur on campus.
“Fire drills are required on campus by law,” Fusco said. “These drills commit actions of exiting buildings to muscle memory, and increase success rates of evacuations during an actual event.”
However, Fusco stated his understanding when it comes to the reactions from those who completely disregard fire drills as useless.
“We know most students look at drills as a nuisance, however we do this so they are prepared in the event of an actual fire,” Fusco said. “A fire could happen at the most inconvenient time and so we must run drills even during class times to ensure we are prepared.”
Weaver knew that this issue was required but noted that some actions could be handled differently when executing alarms. “If they’re going to do alarms, they should at least do it once and not disrupt us commonly during the week,” he said.
So while students must build up a deal of tolerance in regards to dealing with the bi-annual fire drill, public safety may need to tamper around with certain fire alarms to ensure that they are not interfering with students’ quality of life.