CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Five UNC-Chapel Hill students who are members of one of the fraternities at the school are facing charges for tampering with smoke alarms, according to the Chapel Hill Fire Department.
The five members of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity — Chapel Hill residents Michael Tariq Jabar, 20, Richard Anthony Elsea, 19, Jacob Craft, 20, Ryan Todd Williams, 22, and 18-year-old Muhmad Alzpair — were charged with tampering with a fire alarm.
According to a news release, the fire department was dispatched to 110 W. Cameron St. on Feb. 14 for a carbon monoxide alarm. When fire crews arrived on the scene, they found an active carbon monoxide leak in the building. It is standard practice for the fire department to check every room of the building to make sure no one is inside until the threat posed by the carbon monoxide has been removed, officials said.
While performing the check, firefighters found coverings over the smoke detectors in the bedrooms of the house. Fraternities are not considered standard homes and are actually considered commercial buildings, which means safety standards are different.
Commercial buildings, such as the fraternity house, are required to follow North Carolina building and fire codes different from residential homes. One of the requirements is that working smoke alarms must be active.