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May 08, 1975 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-05-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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'U' buildings:
(continued from Page 3) and electrical wires are some-
derson, made a particularly re- times dangerously exposed as
vealing comment after the fire. the renovation continues. During
"I thought this sort of thing class changes the hallways are
would happen," he said, "so I particularly crowded, with the
always brought home the manu- construction work aggravating
script of the book I'm working the problem.
on!' A SECOND building, Tappan
The Economics Building, one Hall, has similar problems stem-
of the oldest University. struc- ming from its old age. Ex-
tures used for classes today, tremely narrow wooden stairs
was constructed in 1856. Since lead to its basement. The stair-
then it has been subject to fre- case is not enclosed, as state
quent renovations, although its law requires for multi-story
wooden interior remains highly buildings. Portions of the base-
flammable. ment walls are also made of
Fire alarms were installed on- wood.
ly after the most recent fire. On the -positive side, many
Still, there are no fire hoses fire extinguishers line the walls
r

Potential fire.
and an enclosed fire hose pro- Department say the Frieze
tects the basement. Building has never been in-
The second floor of the build- spected by city authorities.
ing has a fire alarm and four The stairways in the building
extinguishers, but none in the are enclosed, as required by
office areas. Adequate fire exits state law, and regularly - spac-
lead directly outside from all ed fire alarms line the walls
floors and smoking is prohibit- with at least two fire hoses for
ed. Still a fire could very eas- each floor. No smoking is al-
ily spread through the entire lowed in its Trueblood and Are-
80-year-old structure. na Theaters.
A N O T H E R STRUC One potential fire hazard defi-
TURE, the Frieze Building is nitely exists in the basement
the former Ann Arbor Union prop room, where an accumula-
High School and Public Library. tion of flammable materials
Acquired by the University in such as rags, paint and wood
1956, it was, later remodeled. could kindle a fire.
Surprisingly, officials at the T H O U S A N D S O F
Ann Arbor Building and Safety passed through the halls of
the Old Architecture and De-
sign Building (A&D) during the
m a s s registration period,
perhaps unaware of its most
dangerous qualities.
A&D contains no fire alarms
or hoses. In addition, most of
the building is unoccupied. If a
fire started in an isolated part
of the building, it could go un-
detected until the fire reached
dangerous proportions.
Historical documents call the
Natural Science Building, built
in 1916, "a landmark in the his-
tory of laboratory construction."
However, the fire prevention
devices there have not been up-
dated since its early years. The
structure contains no fire
alarms and has unenclosed
stairways, which would act as
chimneys if a fire started. The
placement of its four exits is
another hazardous factor not
easily correctable.
U-M Stlists
at the UNION

traps
FIRE HOSES dangle in the
open where they can be dan-
aged or made useless. Also, the
many chemicals and radioactive
materials would present anoth-
er highly dangerous situation
during a fire. However, the Uni-
versity is spending a million dol-
lars to build better storage fa-
cilities, as required by the New
Federal Occupational Safety
Act.
Also on the positive side, the
Natural Resources Building is
an example of what can be
done with an aging structure.
The 72-year-old building is one
of the safer classroom struc-
tures on campus today. Its
stairways have been enclosed
and fire hoses are stored safe-
ly. More importantly, a sprink-
ler system has been installed.
But the building still lacks
some fire alarms. The often-
inaccessable alarms, two to a
floor, are placed at opposite
ends of the building.
The University auditoriums,
as a whole, represent other ex-
amples of hazardous areas.
There are no enforced limits to
the number of people who
crowd in. Frequently the An-
gell Hall auditoriums are so
completely filled that students
must sitin the aisles.
IN ADDITION, students wait-
ing outside the auditoriums oft-
en completely block the halls.
If a fire broke out under these
circumstances, a major disaster
could result. In a panic, some
psychologists say, people seek
the doors through which they
entered, ignoring closer exits.
In the four large auditoriums
of the Modern Languages Build-
ing, the only aisles are along
the side of each room. The
number of seats between aisles
extends far beyond the 14 which
state law allows. Apparently, a
loophole allows this limit to be
waived by the State Fire Mar-
shall.
Tomorrow a look at what is
being done by the University
and how the city feels about its
roll in campus fire prevention.

Dave, Chet & Harold
Open 8:30 am-5:15 pm
Monday-Saturday

i
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5

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