The new Commons dormitory provides first-years with a chance to live with others who share the same majors as them, while also having a brand new building and facilities to take advantage of. It is a fantastic place to live and I am sure most people who live there feel the same way. But there is one annoying aspect of living there and it affects everyone the same. People who live in The Commons probably already know what I am talking about: the fire alarms.
Whether it’s two in the morning or in the middle of the day, the fire alarms seem to go off every other day. It is something that people here have, unfortunately, had to get used to. The problem is never fixed and the Keene firefighters constantly have to drive all the way here just to turn them off and find out that some harmless student was hitting a vape in his room. Now, of course, students should not be vaping indoors anyway and it is against the rules; but many of the students who set it off were allowed to buy vape products and use them back in their hometowns and now it’s suddenly illegal for them due to Keene’s laws. The students are simply vaping in their rooms because they are used to always doing it, but then it just ends up affecting everyone because they set off the fire alarms.
It is an issue that has many sides to it, yet it has no way to resolve it. Vaping indoors will always not be allowed, but students seem to keep breaking that rule because it is what they have done back home. The fire alarms will keep being set off due to this and the firefighters will have to keep hauling their truck all the way down here and wasting their time.
There are a couple suggestions that I have that could solve it for the time being. Although it may seem inconvenient, students could start to hit their vape outdoors so they don’t cause all of that commotion. What is even more inconvenient is everyone having to go outside and wait for the firefighters to come and clear the entire building at two in the morning just because someone wanted to hit their vape once. A second suggestion is to fix the fire alarms, if that is even possible. If there is any way of making them less sensitive or not react to water vapor from a vape in the air, I think they should definitely do this. Sure, students may get away with vaping in their room more easily but the entire building won’t have to leave and the fire department will not have to rush over here when they do. Students will never stop vaping in their rooms completely, so something might as well be done to help save the rest of us from having to be woken up by a fire alarm every other day.
William Pruett can be contacted at