This archived article was written by: Seth Richards
In the event of a fire in Sessions Residential Hall at USU Eastern, 1,200 feet of hose may be needed to save lives.
In April 1989, the Utah State Legislature enacted the Uniform Building Standards Act Utah 58-56 (UBS) in an effort to create uniformity in the construction requirements throughout the state. Prior to April 1989, building requirements were at the discretion of the municipalities or counties. Article one, section nine of the U.S. Constitution, prevents the act from being imposed on buildings built before the passing of the UBS.
As a matter of public safety, Utah R710-4-3 requires at least one fire drill per nine-month school year as long as the building has a functioning alarm system, detailed floor plans, is not classified as a high rise, and does not contain excessive quantities of hazardous materials in academic buildings. The drill requirement does not require proximity to an external water source or necessitate an internal sprinkling system.
The Eldon B. Sessions residential hall (Sessions) was last renovated and dedicated in October 1988.
While the occupants of Sessions have previously been dependent on a hydrant on the south side of the hall, during an annual test during the summer, the Price Water and Sewer Dept. and USU personnel found a leak in the water source. The hydrant has since had a bag placed over it, to ensure that it is not tapped in the event of a fire.
“The problem with this hydrant is that we can’t just repair it. It needs to be moved to another location.” Steve Bell, Utah State University fire marshal, said in an email, “A new location has been selected, which will serve [as] the fire sprinkler system for Sessions hall if/when a fire sprinkler system is installed.”
The project is being advertised for contractors to bid. The bidding process is projected to last into November. Funding will be provided from the USU Eastern facilities maintenance budget.
Until the move occurs, residents in Sessions may rest assured they are safe. The Price City Fire Dept. keeps 1200 feet of hose according to Fire Chief Paul Bedont, enough to reach three city blocks if necessary.