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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MUPD releases annual fire and safety report

Photo by Isaiah Gencuski
MUPD assistant chief Jeff Kranz said MUPD gathers information about fire drills. Photo courtesy of Marquette Wire stock photo

The Marquette University Police Department released the university’s 2019 Annual Fire and Safety Report this month. The report includes information regarding campus security, crime statistics, fire safety, sexual assault resources, drug and alcohol information, the missing person notification policy and more.

MUPD assistant chief Jeff Kranz said the information in the report is obtained throughout the year by the department.

The report is required by the Clery Act compliance document which is “a consumer protection law that aims to provide transparency around campus crime policy and statistics,” according to its website.

MUPD Sgt. Carrie Peters said the Clery Act requires universities to conduct fire drills in their on-campus student housing facilities once per calendar year in an email.

“Fire drills serve many purposes, including familiarizing students with the audio and visual cues that indicate an emergency and also with the various evacuation routes,” Peters said in an email.

Peters said the drills allow the Office of Residence Life staff to experience the protocols and expectations during a fire emergency and allowing police and fire to work together to address the emergency and maintain safety during an incident.

Feedback is shared between departments after each drill to continuously improve their process, Peters said. She said drills are scheduled collaboratively between MUPD, ORL and the Milwaukee Fire Department.

“University Apartment and Residence Hall fire drills work to accomplish similar goals, but there are obvious differences in access control and staffing in each,” Peters said in an email.

Peters said there is a different environment during a drill in an apartment versus a residence hall.

The report outlines the number of fire drills done each academic year in both university residence halls and apartments.

Peters said drills are scheduled ahead of time, monitored from beginning to end and debriefed by staff afterwards. Kranz said any drills and alarms are documented by the officers who run them. 

The report revealed a decrease in the number of drills since the 2018 report.  

According to the 2019 report, the number of drills varied by location. In the 2018-’19 academic year, Straz Tower, Carpenter Tower, Cobeen Hall, Abbotsford Hall, Schroeder Hall, Humphrey Hall, O’Donnell Hall and Mashuda Hall each had three drills. McCormick Hall had one and The Commons had two. Campus Town East, Campus Town West, the Frenn building, the Gilman building and McCabe Hall each had two drills. The Marq had one drill. 

According to the 2018 report, each residence hall had four fire drills and each university apartment had three, except for The Marq.

Ronnie Ortiz, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said he never experienced a fire drill while living in Straz Tower last year, except for a “false alarm.” 

Ortiz said Straz held a fire drill over spring break last year. Peters confirmed this, but said she did not recall the specific circumstances surrounding the event. She said false alarms do not count as fire drills, as MUPD cannot monitor them from beginning to end. 

“I don’t know how useful fire drills are if no one is there when you do them,” he said. 

Gabriela Bascunan Simone, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said she lived in Humphrey last year and that she did not experience have any fire drills either.

“In general, I wouldn’t really know where to go if a fire actually happened in any of the Marquette buildings,” she said.

Environmental Health & Safety at Marquette, part of the Risk Unit, provides fire marshall training information. The Risk Unit identifies concerns that could hurt the university. According to the fire marshall training powerpoint, evacuation drills educate occupants on building alarms, safety procedures, egress routes and assembly areas.

“Drills are the best indicator of what will occur in a true emergency,” the powerpoint said.

In the event of a fire, the report details the notification process, saying that community members should immediately notify MUPD’s emergency number 414-288-1911. The report states that the majority of the university buildings are equipped with fire detection and alarm systems.

Marquette’s fire safety procedure emphasizes activating the fire alarm systems, evacuating the building, moving at least 100 feet away and working with fire department personnel and public safety officials. 

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