Posters pose fire hazard

During the last two weeks Concordia’s walls were plastered with hundreds of posters for this year’s CSU election and there is some concern that the high number of posters constituted a safety hazard.
“The posters have never been as bad as this year. There has been an increase of 80 per cent over the last year and this is a big problem since a fire could be easily started,” said Normand Lanthier, Concordia’s fire and public safety officier.
According to Lanthier, a student complained to the fire inspection agency of the city of Montreal and an inspector came by the Hall Building last Wednesday to inspect the amount of posters that were posted.
The university could be subject to a fine by the city for having a large number of combustible material on its walls starting at $350. This amount can go up after repeated complaints. Lanthier said the university has never had a formal complaint before.
According to the national fire code there should not be any combustibles, like
paper, on the walls.
Lanthier added that it is not a few sheets of paper that can start a fire, but a large number of posters all in one place. “When you have a large number of posters it could start a large fire that could catch on the clothes of
passer-bys and it could also ignite someone’s hair.”
CSU vp communications Tom Keefer said that the CSU has a poster exemption, but quickly changed the subject and said that Lanthier should be worried about things like doors being locked and chained on weekends, when there are students
in the building. “That’s a real safety hazard.”
Lanthier said posters belong on bulletin boards, not on walls where fires can start.
“Students can poster anywhere they want and if the university provided the bulletin boards then the posters would not be a such a fire hazard. Posters that are everywhere allow people to be informed and no one can say that they are not informed,” said Keefer.
Last year, Lanthier, Keefer, the Dean of Students, Donald Boisvert and security
met up to discuss where and how much to poster the walls. According to Lanthier, the group came up with an agreement on where and how mich they can poster.
“We have kept our side of the deal by not tearing down the posters. They should have kept their side of the deal. If they wanted more room to poster the walls they could have negotiated with us,” said Lanthier.
Lanthier added that he tried to contact the CSU to tell them that the large amount of posters was a fire hazard, but he got no response.
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