Residents question efficacy of fire drill in Hanwoori Hall
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Residents question efficacy of fire drill in Hanwoori Hall
  • Kang Na-min
  • 승인 2014.10.12 13:22
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Residents in Hanwoori Hall learn how to use the fire extinguisher during a fire drill on May 26. Photo provided by Hanwoori Hall.
Realizing the necessity of safety education for Ewha students after the Sewol ferry incident and breakout of fire on the subway, Hanwoori Hall began conducting a fire drill from the first half of this year.
There was two fire drills for Hanwoori Hall residents on May 26 and Sept. 4.
Prior education was held for a week ahead of the actual fire drill. Including an exit plan for the floor they are residing, students were instructed about how to act and where to evacuate in case of fire. The actual fire drill was held under the association with Seodaemun Fire Station in the afternoon.
On the day, unannounced fire drill was followed at night time for a real time practice.
“Just like the original purpose of the fire drill, I was satisfied that I was able to train as if there were a real fire,” Kang Hae-min (Environmental & Food Science, 1) said.
However, there were voices of concern about the effectiveness of the fire drill. Demands for better safety facilities related to fire evacuation have also been raised.
“Since the random fire drill was conducted too immediately on the same day for the actual drill, it seemed that the drill had gone against its original intention,” said a participated student who wished to stay anonymous.
In case of facilities, the locked emergency exit for the residents on the 5th floor was also brought up as a problem. Even though breaking the door with the emergency hammer was suggested as a way of evacuating through this exit, students consider this measure unsafe and burdensome.
In addition, complaints and concerns over the undermining efficacy of fire alarm as an alert were raised due to the frequent false alarm.
“There was even a false alarm while I was sleeping at midnight,” Choi Seo-yeon (Educational Technology, 1) said. “After frequent false alarms, the function as a warning system got faded and nobody seems to be evacuating now.”
According to the Hanwoori Hall, sensitive sensor of the fire alarm could have caused the malfunction.
Most of the false alarms were caused by the students’ careless usage of microwave. Moreover, in fact, the number of evacuating residing students after hearing the alarm has increased after carrying out the fire drill.
Since, during the fire drill, the residents are educated to evacuate whenever alarm bell is ringing regardless of the cause of it, this shows the influence of the fire drill. 
In response to these students’ comments, the dormitory office is planning to actively reflect these complaints and proposals.
For the locked exit problem, the gate will be immediately open and education for demonstrating the usage of emergency hammer is under  discussion.
“Following the training in May, through the fire drill conducted in September, students were able to actually learn how to act in the case of a fire,” said Choi Gyoung-sil, the director of the Ewha dormitory. “Also, suggestions from the residents will be positively considered. In addition to accepting students’ demands, by differentiating the date for the actual fire drill and unannounced one, we are planning to enhance the efficiency of the safety education.”

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