Students becoming weary of false fire alarms

(FIUSM File Photo)

Diego Saldana-Rojas/Staff Writer

Students are paying less attention to fire alarms. Speculation is that due to events in recent weeks, including the false alarms on April 1, students have become desensitized to fire alarms.

“If it happens to be a real fire no one is going to actually believe it. It’s the boy who cried wolf and so on,” senior geography major Martin Busaca said. “I can understand a practical joke every now and again but when it comes to the safety of residents that just boils down to downright stupidity.”

University Chief of Police Alexander D. Casas noted that his department treats every fire alarm as if there is a real fire despite the number of times or locations a fire may occur.

“We are actually one of the few [police] departments that respond in emergency mode [lights and sirens],” Casas said.

Casas also noted that the majority of fire alarms that are related to actual incidents are small grease fires, smoking inside of buildings or carelessness around fire alarm sprinklers.

However, many students are still unsure about how they feel when they hear the alarms go off because it might be an actual fire or a joke.

“They go off a lot. I don’t think they are drills,” junior international business major Mariana Hernandez said. “I feel they are people playing with the alarms. Honestly, I don’t feel safe. They go off so often that I can never tell if it’s a real drill or a joke.”

Casas gave an analogy to better explain why some students chose to ignore alarms, saying “How many times have you walked through a parking garage and heard a car alarm go off and have paid attention to that?”

Still, some students feel that many people just disregard the alarms because of how often they have heard them go off throughout the semester.

Many students are still weary of what will happen in the future.

“I don’t feel safe at all,” Hernandez said. “How will I know that its not a drill or a real fire if two times a week someone is pulling the alarm. It’s not just me what about everyone else.”

Additional Reporting  by Heidi Reyes.