Alarming statistics for halls by Mary Sweeney Westminster student Michelle Kaloski got a shock recently when she found her bedroom at Harrow Hall filled with smoke. “I woke up, and threw my t-shirt on the lamp because it was just too bright. Then I went to take a shower.”
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But while she was in the shower, Michelle‟s t-shirt was lying directly on the light and it started to smoulder. Michelle realised the seriousness of the situation and dashed across the room to open the windows and door before the fire alarm went off. For once, the fire alarms did not go off, despite the high number of false alarms at Harrow campus halls of residence, the bugbear of every student. Halls manager Debbie Rumball said: “I agree, the fire alarms are very sensitive. However, Brent Council sets the sensitivity levels on the alarms and I am not allowed to change that.” The sensitivity of the alarms is set to stop people attempting to smoke in their rooms. Local council regulations say that hall residents are only allowed to smoke in the kitchen, a rule designed to minimise the threat of students falling asleep and setting their rooms on fire with lit cigarettes. Drunk and foolish students are continuing to contribute to the 93 fire alarms since September. A new „name and shame‟ board is to be introduced, giving residents details about why the alarm went off and which flat was responsible. It is hoped this measure will dramatically reduce the number of false alarms.