Fire Safety Inspections: Live Updates


It’s that time of year again and everyone’s favorite fire safety brigade is lovingly rifling through your shit like some 21st century tooth fairy. To help our community through this difficult time, Wesleying will be providing live updates as they make their cruel progress across campus.

Here’s the kicker: the updates will be provided by you all, the readers! Community journalism, crowd-sourced intel, and all that jazz.

As of now fire safety has already inspected:

  • All of Westco
  • All of Fauver
  • All of Clark
  • Some Nics
  • Some Butts (A and C)
  • Some units on Vine
  • Some units on Cross
  • Some units on Pearl
  • Some units on Fountain
  • Some units on Washington

Has your housing unit been inspected? Add what you know to the comments sections.

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23 thoughts on “Fire Safety Inspections: Live Updates

  1. Gordon

    I was using my Rite-Aid card to prop my door open while I wasn’t there. It was confiscated. My rite-aid card was fucking confiscated.

  2. pyrotechnics

    There are many fire safety policies and procedures I disagree with, and I have fought to have many of them changed. In some cases, policies have changed (fines are now halved for the first offense); in other cases they have changed for the worse (in the now-distant past, Fire Safety announced when they would be doing inspections). Some things are ongoing battles, particularly the policies regarding room condition reports and fire safety fine appeals.

    However, there are several problems with this post. Oswaldo writes that “everyone’s favorite fire safety brigade is lovingly rifling through your shit.” This is inaccurate. Fire Safety is not permitted to open drawers or boxes or anything of that sort, and at no point do they go “rifling through your shit.” They knock, open the door, walk in, look around, and then leave. That’s it.

    Essentially, you will only get fined for candles or written up for alcohol/etc. if you leave it lying around in plain sight.

    Which leads me to the second problem. Posts like this perpetuate the mentality of ‘us (the people) and them the regime,’ which unsurprisingly keeps our community fractured. Fire Safety does some obnoxious stuff, sure, mostly on account of legal reasons and differing priorities from students. But they are also not the bloody boogeyman. Besides, students can do really dumb things even with allowed items — like the senior house last year that put a plastic water heater on the stove and started a small fire. Sitting on the Fire Safety and Facilities Appeals Board, I’ve heard of some hilarious fires-waiting-to-happen.

    Posts like this one are an interesting exercise in watchdog style citizen-journalism, yes. So here’s to hoping that this is just practice for bigger issues.

    1. mm mm mm

      Fire safety stopped by our house a couple of weeks ago to do fire drills and they were incredibly rude to everyone who lived there. A housemate in the kitchen was yelled at as she tried to turn the burner off before leaving for not exiting quickly enough, even as she explained what was up. Once they lined us all up outside they listed through all of the potential fines we had around the house, pretty condescendingly. Some of them made absolutely no sense, i.e. a bike being in their way as they tried to walk through the living room or a lightbulb that had been changed because the bulb broke [“messing with Wesleyan property”]. Then they told us they’d be back whenever they wanted to. Let’s not disguise bullying as being strict for the sake of “legal reasons” and “different priorities.” Seniors living in wood frames are adults living in houses. Some adults are stupid and some adults are smart, but it doesn’t mean they should be assumed incompetent before opening their mouths. There are a lot of people on FS who get off on messing with kids.

      1. pyrotechnics

        No disagreement with anything you’ve written here, except the last sentence on account of the hyperbole. Like I said, there is plenty to be unhappy about regarding Fire Safety. I also think that your comments here are more compelling/interesting/important for discussion than the original framing of this post.

      2. old news

        Similarly, when my woodframe had its mock fire drill, after which those individuals casually did a walk through of the units (I don’t believe it was the official fire safety “inspection”), they interrogated me about several things which they were, I’m sure, within their right to do so. HOWEVER, what I really did not appreciate (especially given the interrogation), was walking into the kitchen 2 hours later to the back door WIDE open. It was the door they entered through, and they were the only ones to use it within that time. Luckily I visited the kitchen when I did, as I was on my way out of the house; if I hadn’t, the door would have continued to stay open until late into the night. This happened near in time to the Fountain burglaries, which left me concerned about the visitors’ motives of “safety”.

    2. copacabana

      I’ve actually had a friend who was charged for having illicit items that were stored in a closed and covered box (no, it wasn’t anything that could have been smelled). They contested the fine, which was dropped to a warning (which makes no sense at all). Even just the potential of this happening is, I think, what scares people, and it has happened outside of your experiences on the Appeals Board. That is a legitimate problem; people rightfully feel like their privacy is being violated and that the inspections are more than just for safety purposes. Hi rise/low rise inspections were ‘supposed’ to happen months ago, as though the process is drawn out to keep everyone on their toes. At the least, I think the lack of communication between
      fire safety and the students is what creates that ‘us against them’ attitude.

      1. pyrotechnics

        Thanks for sharing! I definitely agree that the lack of communication contributes to the ‘us v. them’ attitude, though I would not call the student body innocent of their own contributions. For example, the assumption (in the original post) that the “rifling” *will* happen invariably helps to create the fear you mention. Such actions are not permissible even by Fire Safety’s own standards, and individual inspectors who perpetrate such violations of privacy should absolutely be held accountable.

        1. '14

          I think the lack of accountability is a huge problem. Students should have the right to be present in their residence when fire safety comes, and the papers left behind by fire safety should have the names signed SO THAT THEY CAN BE READ. I’m not a fan of strangers basically having access to my home whenever they feel like doing an “inspection.”

    3. Oz

      There are definitely some common interests that should be grounds for cooperation: both the administration and the students do not want their homes to burn down.

      I think where the conflict and tension comes into play is the fact that this is (especially for upperclassmen) the sole institutionalized form of surveillance into their domestic sphere. Much like the forced hospitalizations carried out by Psafe, it’s another one of those weird intersections of security and discipline. Institutions that are in place to keep us safe end up being appropriated and manipulated by those who seek to control our behavior and transformed into a punitive enterprise.

      A big chunk of the fines that emerge from these inspections have little to do with fire safety whatsoever. Weed, drink, kittens, etc. If these inspections were solely about keeping students safe I feel like everyone would be on the same page. But they are there in large part to surveil and control the way we conduct ourselves in our domestic sphere.

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