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May 08, 1975 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-05-08

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

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Doge e


I. t"uusuuy, may ta, 1 'i

'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

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

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
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-
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
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