Residents of Jasper Hall will be without smoke detectors for an indefinite period of time, according to vice president of facilities Andrew Ryan. Overlook Manor will also be without fire alarm panels indefinitely.
“We would not have people in the building if there was an issue that [made it] not safe to be in there,” Ryan said.
Signs were recently placed in Jasper Hall stating that the smoke detectors in the residence hall were not functioning.Similar signs were placed in OV stating that fire alarm panels were offline. Ryan explained that there was a failure on the motherboard of the alarm system, and the part of the system that failed related to the reporting on the smoke detectors themselves.
The pull stations located around Jasper Hall are still functional, as are the flow switches on the sprinkler system in the building. Further precautions have been made to ensure student safety during the absences of these smoke detectors.
“All the RAs in the building have been informed about it…and public safety makes rounds on the building two to three times per shift,” Ryan said.
According to the Manhattan College Security and Fire Safety Annual Report, published by the college in fall 2013, all security personnel are required to maintain a current New York City Fire Department Fire Safety Certification.
Residents of Jasper Hall seem to feel safe despite the failure of the smoke detectors.
“I saw the signs on the door, I don’t feel in danger. I still feel safe,” Shea Prendergast, a freshman resident of Jasper Hall, said.
According to the annual report, Jasper Hall was the only residence hall to experience a dorm fire in 2012, and this fire was labeled as intentional because it was caused when a student lit an aerosol can.
Ryan assures MC and Jasper Hall residents that the building is safe to occupy. He explained, “All of [this] is standard procedure anywhere in New York City. When a fire alarm goes out of service, you can keep the building operational but you need to be making rounds through the building.”
The New York City Fire Code, Chapter 9 Section 901.6 states that “Fire protection systems shall be maintained in good working order at all times. Any fire protection system that is not in good working order shall be repaired or replaced as necessary….”
MC is now in the process of replacing these systems. A vendor is currently researching in an attempt to find the failed part of the fire alarm system and as soon as the part is found it will be installed. According to Ryan there is no time frame yet for when the alarm system will be repaired.
“They are not new systems, and parts are usually available but it is a little bit of a process,” he said.