Greek Life: Fire Safety on OSU Campus

by admin on May 10, 2011

As a college student, I am reminded of fire safety every time I lie down in my bed in my sorority house and look up at the sprinkler system that wraps around the ceiling of my room.  I am a member of Delta Gamma at The Ohio State University and this is my first year living in the Delta Gamma house on campus.  On move-in day, after all thirty-five girls were settled in, we had an in-house girls meeting; the hot topic: our new sprinkler system that had been installed in summer 2010. A representative from the fire sprinkler company attended our meeting in order to explain how it works, what to do in case it is activated, the complexity of the system, and more.

One of the first aspects of the system that he pointed out was the price of the overall system, which greatly surprised me.  The cost was over $10,000! And this cost only included the installation of the system for the second and third floors of the house, not the ground floor or basement.  Furthermore, the cost of the system being activated is also extremely pricey, he explained.  Contrary to what we may see on TV or in movies, if the system is activated, it will only spray water in the area that it is activated—not the entire building/house.  However, the amount of water that is sprayed during activation easily ruins computers, TV’s and other electronics.  Top that off with the cost of firefighters coming to the premises, one is looking at a minimum $5000 charge if they are to accidentally activate the system in an area of the Delta Gamma house.

Fortunately, activating the system on accident is highly unlikely to occur. The sprinklers can be turned on if either there is extreme heat below the sensors (this extreme heat can only be caused by a real fire) or if the piping of the system is somehow struck.  The piping, however, is very sensitive.  The representative explained that even hanging a clothes hanger from the piping could set it off.  Luckily, the piping is all located along the ceiling and is unreachable to all persons under eight feet tall.

Our house manager and the representative then explained together that despite the costs and risk of possible further costs, this system was essential to such a large house. Sprinkler systems are pertinent to protecting people and things in the case of a home fire.  They are one way that the Delta Gamma house at Ohio State practices fire safety!

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