Representatives of the Charleston Fire Department will be joined by city and state officials to collectively recognize Eastern Illinois University for its proactive approach to fire safety on its campus.
Larry Matkaitis, Illinois’ state fire marshal, is among those scheduled to attend a 2 p.m. ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 18, in the Cougill Foyer of Old Main on EIU’s campus. The public is invited to attend.
According to Fire Chief Pat Goodwin, Charleston and city fire department officials are “very proud” of Eastern’s commitment to the installation of sprinkler systems in the institution’s residence halls and Greek housing, and further laud the fact that Eastern is the first state institution of its type and size to reach 100 percent compliance.
By the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester, residence halls at EIU were 100 percent upgraded with a sprinkler system in each of its 28 residential buildings, Goodwin added.
An Illinois state mandate passed in 2004 requiring that residence halls in all public and private colleges and universities have sprinkler systems installed by 2013. Eastern was ahead of the curve in that it had started its own sprinkler system update in 1999, with the process beginning in Pemberton Hall.
The state further mandated – via the Greek Housing Fire Safety Act of 2010 – that automatic fire sprinkler systems be required in all Greek housing structures built before Jan. 1, 2011, and that those systems be installed before Jan. 1, 2019. The first of Eastern’s on-campus Greek housing was retrofitted with sprinklers in 2001, Goodwin said.