November 28, 2002

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For Antioch College—
Cost of alarms adding up

False fire alarms are proving expensive at Antioch College these days, with four new fines recently processed due to false fire alarms.

The Ohio Revised Code gives Miami Township the authority to fine the college $300 every time a second false alarm occurs in the same building on campus within 30 days.

According to Miami Township Fire Rescue Chief Colin Altman, Antioch has been fined more than $2,000 this year.

Antioch Dean of Students Patricia Whitlow said the college has been taking action on the matter since the Township first enforced the new policy this fall.

“At first we were caught off guard,” Whitlow said, “but now we’re trying our best in addressing three issues: How can we best educate students about the policy? What can we do physically? And what happens if we continue having problems?”

Many of the problems on campus have stemmed from technical problems and not student activation. Some of the smoke detectors are being switched to heat detectors, and many of the smoke detectors are being cleaned, retuned or replaced, Whitlow said.

In Birch Hall, previously one of the biggest offenders, false alarms have been drastically reduced due to detector cleaning and maintenance.

Antioch has not started fining students, mainly because enacting such a policy would have to happen next term, since the fall 2002 term is almost over, said Whitlow.

However, she said the students will start receiving fines if false alarms are traced back to them in the spring 2003 term.

—Michael Hogan Jr.