Whether it is during the day or in the middle of the night, an impromptu fire drill is never fun. It is important to learn why the alarms go off and what it means for students and the school when it does.
While many fire alarms have gone off this year, none have been because of an actual fire. Director of Property and Risk Management Brent Nipper calls these “nuisance” alarms, meaning that, while the alarm went off due to detecting smoke or something else in the air, there was not an actual fire present. Since nuisance alarms are not threatening, there is not an official log kept for them.
The Elizabethton Fire Department responds to Milligan’s campus and is only a few minutes away. They respond to Milligan instead of West Carter Fire Department, because Milligan is located within Elizabethton city limits.
Rumors have always circulated campus about students or the school paying fines for nuisance alarms, but this is simply a rumor.
Nipper explains that Milligan and the Elizabethton Fire Department have always had a good relationship, and, while they could charge the school, they have yet to do so.
“Alarms have gone off more than usual this semester, but it tends to run in cycles,” Nipper explains. “Be patient and understand safety is the most important thing.”
Nipper also notes that there were very few fire alarms during the 2017 spring semester.
To avoid unwanted alarms, Nipper advises students to be aware of their actions and surroundings. Do not spray near, cook near or hang anything on the smoke detectors, as these are reasons they have sounded in the past.
This semester, the Village has had the most nuisance alarms. Nipper finds this understandable, because the Village has full kitchens. He advises keeping cooking areas clean, especially the eyes of the stove, and not leaving food unattended.
The Village alarms have also sounded this year due to the fire system needing to be checked.