By Amanda Yarnall (Whetstone Staff Writer)

When a fire alarm goes off in the dorms, the Dover Fire Department is not directly notified until someone at Wesley College notifies it.

Senior Amanda Henderson, a resident assistant in Roe Hall, worries that if no RA’s are in the building, students will not know to call security to inform them if an alarm goes off.

When the fire alarm goes off in the dorms, the RA’s are responsible to call security, said senior Nettie Choice, an RA.

“Anyone in the residence hall who hears the fire alarm sounding should call and report the alarm to the security office,” said director of safety and security, Walter Beaupre. “If there is a fire or smoke, they need to immediately call 911.”

RA’s also have additional responsibilities.

“It is also our responsibility to make sure all of our residents are out of the building,” Choice said.

If an alarm goes off, a box in the dorm’s main office, shows which room the alarm went off. It has two buttons, one that turns the alarm off, and the other that sends an alarm to the Dover Fire Department.

The problem for many RA’s is that students set off the alarms a lot, both deliberately and accidently – hair dryers and burnt popcorn have been known to set them off.

“Girls have to open their doors and windows while they fix their hair so the alarms don’t go off,” Henderson said.

Choice fears that the day there is a real fire, “no one will know the difference.”

She thinks that if the ventilation systems in the dorms were cleaned out more often, then the alarms wouldn’t sound as much.

Beaupre said the fire systems are upgraded when they are needed.

“A sprinkler system was installed in all rooms in Roe Hall during summer of 2008,” he said.