Sprinkler systems not mandatory in K-State fraternities, sororities

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A lack of funds, time and city requirements have caused some K-State greek houses to put off installing fire sprinkler systems.

Although several K-State fraternities and sororities have fire sprinkler systems, a few do not.

Last month, Pi Kappa Phi fraternity had an electrical fire at its chapter house, which is not equipped with a fire sprinkler system. The men of the fraternity practice fire safety because of the absence of a sprinkler system.

“We’ve done fire walk-through,” said Tyler Price, senior in broadcast journalism and chapter president. “We’ve pulled the alarm early in the morning and gone over what to do if it ever happens again. We were pretty lucky last time, but it was difficult, because we had 14 guys from Colorado State stay the night at the house, so we had to make sure they were all accounted for.”

Pi Kappa Phi members plan to install a fire sprinkler system, Price said.

“Alumni are working on a campaign to get some renovations done, but I haven’t heard a timeline of when that would happen,” he said.

Price said some parents of potential members have asked specifically about fire sprinkler systems, and the chapter has lost a few potential members because of a lack of such a system.

Conversely, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority’s national headquarters ruled all chapter houses must have fire sprinkler systems, causing the K-State chapter to have a system installed, said Kelsey Frasier, chapter president and senior in agricultural economics.

Frasier said members of the chapter researched companies for the job, talked to chapters that already had sprinkler systems and asked for bids from several contractors for the project.

The system was costly, she said, but it was installed over a summer when the house was closed to members.

The sorority has had its sprinkler system in place for a few years, and Frasier said the safety of the chapter house has increased since the installation of the system.

Taylor Currie, president of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and junior in sociology, said his chapter’s sprinkler system was installed in 1999, and it requires little maintenance.

“As long as nothing breaks or malfunctions on them, just a normal inspection at least once a year is the only maintenance needed,” Currie said.

Greek Affairs cannot require houses to renovate solely to install sprinkler systems, but Frasier said there could be a future deadline set when all chapter houses would be required to have fire sprinklers.

“This would enable more houses to add sprinklers during upcoming renovations,” Frasier said. “It is probably not financially feasible for most houses to install without significant financial planning.”

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