University Dorm Residents Concerned Over Lack of Fire Sprinklers

Posted: 5/2/2016

University fire protection

Oregon -- Residents at the three unprotected dorms at the University of Oregon are upset after learning their dorms don't have fire sprinklers.

The Daily Emerald interviewed students living in Walton Hall, Hamilton Hall, and Bean Hall about the lack of fire protection.  A student transfer, Marie Shumizu was outraged after learning the fire sprinklers were not installed in her dorm, Hamilton Hall.

"It's outrageous because of how much I had to pay [$3,800 per quarter], and the building is not even safe," said Shimizu.

The three oldest dorms on campus do not have fire sprinklers because they were built between 1950 and 1963, when fire sprinklers were not required, and they have not been remodeled.  There is no plan in sight for Walton Hall, Hamilton Hall, or Bean Hall to get fire sprinklers installed either.

University Fire Marshal Joseph Pedrola said the lack of fire sprinklers isn't a major concern.

Buildings on campus must comply with Oregon Fire Code, which requires fire sprinkler systems in public buildings to provide a "reasonable level of safety and property protection."  The university is not violating any codes, according to Pedrola, because the dorms meet fire code from when they were built.

The lack of fire sprinklers was never brought to the attention of students, according to Bean Hall resident Tyler Manning.  He found out through a conversation with a friend.

"I found out when a kid in my floor casually mentioned it once.  Since then, the topic keeps coming up now and then," said Manning.

Former Bean Hall Resident Assistant said that the university did not discuss the matter with residents; however, "we take fire safety very seriously.  I think the policies are strict and reasonable enough to benefit the safety of everyone," Max Burns said.

"Education is a good way to approach the problem.  Sometimes the behavior changes can help a lot in preventing a fire from happening in the first place," said Pedrola.

Read the full story here. 

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