William Weber, vice president for business affairs, and Gary
Eastern Illinois University has received state recognition for its proactive approach to fire safety on campus.
The Illinois Fire Inspectors Association honored EIU by presenting the institution with a Corporate Award during the IFIA’s annual Fire Prevention Week luncheon/meeting. According to Bob Morris, executive director of the IFIA, the group annually honors emergency personnel, children, young adults, adults and corporations who have greatly enhanced or contributed to local fire prevention efforts in their community.
Eastern was recognized for having been the first state university to achieve complete compliance of the Fire Sprinkler Dormitory Act. This act, enacted in January 2005, required all on-campus housing at post-secondary institutions to have fire sprinklers installed by 2013. In January 2011, the state further enacted the Greek Housing Fire Safety Act, requiring all Greek housing to install fire sprinkler systems by 2019.
Eastern began its efforts in 2000 with the installation of fire sprinklers in Pemberton Hall, the oldest woman’s residence hall in the state of Illinois. The first Greek housing was retrofitted with sprinklers in 2002.
The university finished its work in Summer 2012 by making installations in Ford, McKinney and Weller halls. Eastern spent more than $10.5 million dollars on the total multi-year project, which involved the installation of fire sprinkler systems and fire alarm systems in all 28 of the university’s residential buildings on campus.
Gary Hanebrink, EIU safety officer, along with William Weber, EIU’s vice president for business affairs, accepted the IFIA award on behalf of the university.
“We’re grateful for the award and what it represents,” Hanebrink said. “It’s a validation of the efforts Eastern has made to provide a safe, secure environment for our students and visitors.