By Eli Longman
On December 2nd, the day back from Thanksgiving break, the fire alarm went off in the Rubin Hall dormitory at 6:30 a.m., the first time in the Fall 2019 semester. Each room was subjected to loud noises, with students describing the sounds throughout the building as chaotic. Nearly everyone in the building came downstairs within five minutes of the alarm sounding, and entered the dormitory lounge to receive information as to what caused the alarm to sound. Not many students waited outside the building during the fire alarm, even though Rubin Hall residents did not know whether there was a fire or not.
After approximately 30 minutes of waiting, Yeshiva University security personnel explained to students what had happened. According to the personnel of YU’s Department of Security, a branch of YU’s Office of University Operations, a custodian on the sixth floor used too many chemicals to clean the floors, which set off the fire alarm.
While many students were upset that they were unable to sleep due to the alarm, some asked if this chemical smell in the bathroom could have any impact on the health of those living in Rubin Hall in the long run. “I didn’t even know what that noise was,” said one anonymous Rubin Hall resident. Another told the YU Observer, “Is this really necessary?” Fire drills or alarms can point to a real danger, so whatever the case may be, students are prompted by safety protocol to always evacuate, even if it so happens to be due to a non-hazardous reason.