Letter to the Editor
By Richard Mears, John Carter, Peter Root
The article in the March 9th edition of The Student, “Sprinkler System Fails, Disrupts Exhibition” reports that some students have attributed the flooding at Marsh House to “the faulty infrastructure of the house, as well as negligence on behalf of the College.”

The actual cause of the sprinkler activation and flooding was that a student used a sprinkler head as a clothes hanger which inadvertently activated the device. Sprinkler heads are by design sensitive devices. Hanging clothes on the head broke the glass bulb link, thus, simulating a fire situation, which activated the system. The fire detection and suppression systems worked as they were designed to and would have effectively addressed an actual fire. The response from the College; police, facilities and residence life was immediate and minimized the damage.

The College provides the Area Coordinators and Residence Counselors with training and information posters on sprinklers that illustrate what can happen when items are hung from pipes or sprinkler heads. Events like this allow us to reinforce this training to help prevent such occurrences in the future. We hope that students will take the lesson from this incident to heart and use caution with sprinkler heads.

If any student would like to learn more about fire prevention and safety, including detection and sprinkler systems, emergency evacuation, and other related topics at length, please feel free to contact us.

Issue 19, Submitted 2011-03-23 01:16:14