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Smoke alarms no good, say residents

By Macaully Moffat

The Smoke Alarms within University are and have always been there to ensure Students’ safety within their accommodations. However, some students have shown their annoyance at their sensitivity, with the alarms picking up things so little such as hot steam from a shower. This has been the case particularly for students living inside Rowhedge Court, specifically House 5.

The first month at university has been some frustrating times for residents at House 5 of Rowhedge Court. The smoke alarms are appearing to be very sensitive, going off during various periods including early hours of the day.

It appears that the alarms are going off most mornings, with students taking showers at different times. A resident of the house, Adam Campbell-Drew says, “It’s annoying how the alarms are going off for like two seconds and at different times during most mornings”. He went on to further say how it is frustrating “especially when you can have a lie in due to later lectures and or classes”.

Students are being woken up, before they are forced to evacuate the premises and wait outside, typically in the cold, whilst security check the building is clear. Whilst some prefer to ignore it, they are obliged to follow the safety procedures, and leave the building when an alarm is triggered. The security teams arrive as sharp as possible; however, students have also said that “they take like 10-20 minutes to arrive sometimes, leaving us out in the cold!”

There was a similar incident in one of the North Towers as well this term, however this was put down to a student smoking in their rooms, which of course is prohibited.

With this being an ongoing issue in Rowhedge 5 however, some students argue that it must be brought to attention whether it is necessary for the smoke alarms to be in everyone’s rooms. With some suggesting that perhaps it would just be better in the hallways or kitchens only, as over 50% of the house fires in Essex starting in the kitchen.

There is a lot of information on fire safety on the Essex website, with it written that the units are ‘necessarily sensitive’. The Fire team on campus did not respond to questions on this issue.


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