Last Sunday night, I laid peacefully in my bed in Windsor Hall engulfed in pillows and blankets. I had been running around so much all week. When I finally accomplished all my assignments that night, I jumped into bed to relax. I finally had “me time.”

Then I was faced with my biggest stressor: the screeching sound of the Windsor fire alarm.

I jumped out of my bed as fast as I could. My body shook and my heart raced. Discombobulated, I scrambled to grab my coat and shoes before evacuating the building with my pod mate.

Together, my pod mate and I walked down to her car in the basketball court parking lot. While we sat in her car to avoid the cold, we watched two fire trucks, several public safety vans and an ambulance pull up to the main entrance of the building.

The two of us pondered what the possible cause of this fire was. Was it just a drill? Did someone leave popcorn in the microwave for too long? Did someone carelessly “forget” to put water in microwaveable mac-and-cheese? Or, the lamest of them all, did some imbecile light up in their room?

We sat in her car for about 20 minutes watching Public Safety officers and firefighters enter and leave the building. Then we decided to brave the frigid temperatures and trek up the hill to Windsor. As we approached the building, the fire trucks and ambulance slowly left the entrance.

A Public Safety officer stood outside the entrance directing students back into the building. Curious for answers, my roommate and I asked her what the cause of the alarm was. The officer’s answer was startling. Some nincompoop neglected to clean the lint out of the dryer in the laundry room.

You should never leave lint in the dryer. I thought this was common sense. Leaving lint in the lint tray is a fire hazard, and in case you didn’t notice, there is a sign above the Windsor dryers explicitly explaining how to properly use them, with the first step being “remove all lint from the lint tray.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, firefighters respond to around 14,630 fires a year that are caused by dryers. One-third of those fires are caused by an accumulation of lint. Having too much lint in the lint trap can set you up for a dangerous situation.

With that in mind, how can you be so careless to leave lint in the dryer? Even though it may not seem like it, leaving lint in dryers is dangerous. Please remove it before you start the dryer. It’s a simple, yet necessary, step in the drying process and it will prevent setting a building on fire.

It’s infuriating to me to watch the foolishness of a shortsighted individual neglect to remove lint from a dryer. It takes less than a second to do, as opposed to 25 minutes outside in the cold waiting for the “OK” from Public Safety. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

Thankfully, no one was hurt in Windsor when this incident occurred. However, it disrupted many people’s evenings, including mine. But, it should serve as a wake-up call for all residents on SNHU’s campus to remove lint from dryers to prevent anything more serious from happening.

If you are looking for a good read tonight, look above the dryers.

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