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LEADING COMMUNITY RISK REDUCTION - page 40 / 75

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extinguishers. Perhaps, training programs should include when not to attempt fire

suppression.

Another activity of concern involved alcohol. According to the USFA (2001)

report, excessive use of alcohol preceded numerous cases of dormitory, fraternity, and

sorority house fires. The survey of resident advisors confirmed students may be found

intoxicated or under the influence of drugs within the dorms at CSUF. Such situations

often result in young adults making poor judgments with regard to life safety that harm

others. This research confirms that alcohol consumption should be addressed in fire

safety awareness training.

Naylis (2000) described the events of the Boland Residence Hall fire at Seton

Hall University. A contributing factor to the injuries and fatalities of this fire was

students ignored the fire alarm. Brannigan (2000) and Donath (2000) reported similar

behaviors of fire victims at other dormitory fires. The survey revealed CSUF maintains

strong policies regarding evacuation of the dormitories in the event of a fire alarm. All

students are mandated to evacuate the building in the event of a fire alarm. Further,

resident advisors conduct room checks once the all clear is given. The survey reported

almost unanimously that CSUF residence halls conduct two fire drills each year. It

appears CSUF is actively addressing this issue.

Donath (2000) discussed the practice of using a positive alarm system. This

requires having a security officer check for a real fire when a fire alarm sounds before

notifying the local fire department. Donath argued such a practice extends the response

time of the fire department. Unfortunately, this same practice is being used at CSUF

residence halls. A call for change in the current policy is recommended.

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