LOOSE WIRES IN RAM A FIRE HAZARD

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By Carly Yoshida-Butryn

Exposed wiring in the Ram in the Rye poses a fire hazard to the popular pub, interim Student Campus Centre manager Mike Verticchio says.

Electrical audits conducted during the construction of the SCC failed to uncover serious wiring issues across the building, including in the Ram in the Rye, that are a fire hazard.

Electricians discovered exposed wires, wiring that was way below code and live wires loose in the ceiling that could have potentially caused shorts or a fire in the Ram, according to a report submitted to the Ryerson Students’ Union board.

“We’re still looking for answers on our side because we’re not sure why it took so long,” said Verticchio, who wrote the report. He said that some of the problems had been there for years.

According to Alanna Corkery, manager of the Ram, the wiring problems were first noticed in September while Oakham House was undergoing repairs.

As workers replaced carpeting in Oakham, someone dropped a heavy object which caused the brackets of two pot lights in the Ram to pop out.

This made the lights hang lower than normal. When electricians opened up the ceiling to fix the problem, they noticed the faulty wiring.

Campus Planning and Facilities acted immediately to ensure the Ram’s wiring was brought up to code.

But according to the board report, during the construction of the SCC, an electrical audit was paid for and supposed to be conducted to find any electrical problems and ensure they were repaired. Campus Planning plans to review the contracts to see what happened.

Ian Hamilton, head of Campus Planning, declined to comment.

Verticchio said part of the reason why it took so long for the wiring problems to be discovered was because they were enclosed in the ceiling and weren’t obviously visible with the naked eye.

And Corkery said that the only time a building inspection occurs is when the lease changes names or if a problem is discovered.

“There’s no reason to have a building inspection unless you’re having problems,” she said.

Instead of closing the Ram to complete the repairs all at once, sections of the pub have been closed off intermittently so that the bar can remain open for students. Corkery called the repairs an “ongoing process” but said that most of the repairs are complete.

“The majority of the work is done, and now it’s a matter of closing everything up,” she said of the open ceiling in the pub that still needs to be covered.

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