Expired fire extinguishers on City College’s Ocean Campus

By Sarah Berjan

Expired fire extinguishers have been discovered among the 82 located on City College’s Ocean Campus.

According to the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) on Ocean Avenue, extinguishers are to be inspected and changed on an annual basis. However, inspections are not conducted under the SFFD. The Injury and Inspection program at City College requires a Workplace Safety Inspection forum be filled out and forwarded to the superintendent of Buildings and Grounds.

“I think that is a major problem….I think it’s important to really speak out about equipment of the school being expired, because there is so much danger and threats that can occur,” City College Student Ana Santelices said.

Extinguishers are stored in locked, white, metal boxes, which can be opened by breaking the glass window on the front. Evacuation routes located near the elevators detail where extinguishers can be found on each floor of a building. The yellow tags attached to fire extinguishers determine the month, date and year when that extinguisher was last inspected. One of the oldest fire extinguishers found on the campus dates back to Aug. 3, 2010, and can be found in Bungalow 615.

Santelices, an engineering student, was reminded of a discussion she had in class which focused on a United Kingdom building that went up in flames due to inadequate fire safety.  

“Every time we have a heat wave, I hear on the news that there are so many fires that occur…within San Francisco. I think the school shouldn’t discount that and really do something about it,” Santelices said.

According to City College Risk Manager Aaron Holmberg, further information on this year’s fire extinguisher inspection is pending. Head of the Buildings and Grounds Department Kenneth Dang was unavailable for comment, as was Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities Linda da Silva, whom reporters have been told is on administrative leave for unknown reasons.

“I feel like it’s taking away from the students’ safety, because if something were to breakout and happen, then where are we going to turn to? We can follow the rules and instructions that the school provides, but it’s not as safe as personally putting out a fire. It’s still risky, especially when it involves other lives, and they decide to not tell us about it.” City College Student Genesis Nelson said.

The exact details of City College’s extinguisher service contract are still to be determined.

Fire extinguishers around Ocean Campus were photographed to document, which have become expired. Extinguishers in the Health Center, Rosenburg Library, Batmale Hall and Conlan Hall were all subject to photographing.
Fire extinguishers around Ocean Campus were photographed to document, which have become expired. Extinguishers in the Health Center, Rosenburg Library, Batmale Hall and Conlan Hall were all subject to photographing.

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