Letter to the Editor: Smoke Detectors are Essential for a Safe Environment

Dear Editor,

In kindergarten most were taught that when a smoke detector beeps, it is time to change the batteries. For those who were not taught, the incessant beeping quickly helps them catch the hint. While this safety feature is one of the simplest and most successful, for those who live in student housing it comes with a few complications.

First, residents are prohibited from the touching the smoke detectors, meaning they are not allowed to fix the problem themselves. These students then must either place a maintenance request or phone the RA on call. In the case of maintenance, one cannot be sure how many other issues they are dealing with or how long it will take them to make it to your room, so you turn to the RA. It is then that the second problem arises.

While the arrival of the RA is quick, the way they fix the problem does not seem to be the safest option. Instead of changing the battery, it is removed and then replaced to reset the smoke detector. I have called an RA four times since moving in about this issue, and not once was the battery replaced with a new one. In the case of television remotes and Xbox controllers, this is an excellent solution but is it really the safest choice in terms of smoke detectors?

This so-called fix is either a desperate attempt to save money or the current smoke detectors have a few glitches that housing is aware of and continues to ignore. If it is just a lack of batteries, housing should purchase enough to fulfill the needs of every room; however, if it is the smoke detectors, part of the budget should be used to replace them. While initially smoke detectors will be the more expensive option, overtime they will pay for themselves.

Whichever it is, it needs to be addressed to create a safe environment for students, no matter the cost.

Submitted by: Audrey Gee
Photo courtesy of: Unsplash.com