posted 2012-03-06 21:07:56

Fire Sprinklers Set Off in Brookdale Bathrooms

Early last month a mechanical malfunction caused fire sprinklers to go off in the bathrooms on three floors of the Brookdale Residence Hall at approximately 5:30 a.m. as fire alarms raged throughout the building. Firefighters arrived at the scene and reported the three unnecessary alarms that went off on the second, ninth and tenth floors of the residence hall’s North building.

The building went into safety mode when a glass air filter in the North Building’s control cracked, causing a spike in the bath sprinkler system, said a Brookdale mechanic.

“The disaster struck right around the time of my [hour] switch,” said one of the two mechanics who spent the next four hours addressing the problem. The mechanic, who spoke on the condition

of anonymity, said it took a while for the maintenance team to figure out what caused the false alarms. Although building staff initially thought the alarms might have been set off by an arsonist, he said, they soon realized it was a mechanical failure.

Safety caps with higher blow-offs have been installed to prevent future incidents, said the mechanic. He said that in addition to the control room malfunction, the current placement of sprinklers in the bathrooms next to heaters probably exacerbated the problem.

Kimberly Devi Milner, Staff Writer