Campus Police is looking to employees of Sodexho Dining Services in the investigation of three fire alarms pulled in Eickhoff Hall recently.
Three fire alarms this semester were false alarms caused by someone triggering the pull-boxes. The false alarms occurred on Sept. 8, 11 and 12, Ryan Farnkopf, Eickhoff residence director, said.
According to Sgt. Mike Bell of Campus Police, the false alarms are under investigation. “We have not identified a suspect yet,” Bell said.
However, the alarms occurred near the food service exit door. “We have to look at everyone who has access to that area,” Bell said.
In response, the Eickhoff management team “held a meeting with the employees stressing the severities of the fire alarms and the consequences involved if (an) individual is caught pulling a false alarm,” Matt Hower, director of resident dining, said. “Campus Police has also spoken to the staff about the severities and consequences.”
Hower is also looking into changing the pull-box near the back door to one that uses a dye to mark who activates the alarm.
Steve Hugg, director of Marketing and Business Development for Sodexho, said, “If a fire alarm is pulled as a prank, it inconveniences our customers and staff, and we want to work with the campus community to avoid that.”
Pulling a false fire alarm is a violation of state law and is a third degree crime, according to Bell. The penalties may include a $2,000 fine.
Two other fire alarms also occurred this semester. One on Aug. 31 was a planned fire drill, and one on Sept. 20 was caused by smoke from a grill, Farnkopf said.
Hower said after a fire drill, “We need to recheck all food (temperatures) and quality and make sure that we clear all of the trays so that students do not eat food that . has become unsafe.”
According to Eickhoff resident Shannon Heger, junior health and exercise science major, “It’s a hassle to constantly be dealing with the fire drills.”
“Sometimes I have to go to class unprepared because I am unable to get into the building to get my things,” Heger said. “It is an inconvenience not only to the people who live in Eickhoff, but also to all of the students who need to eat there.”