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Low water pressure to blame for false fire alarms in dorms

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Will Ferguson
Will Ferguson/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

A fire alarm forced the residents of Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall to evacuate the building shortly after 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

This has been the third time since Tuesday that the alarm went off, said hall resident Bill Eggert. The other two alarms went off early Wednesday around 11 p.m. and between 2 and 3 a.m.

“It’s like the sixth time since school started,” said pre-physiology freshman Alexandra Rickert. Having to evacuate the building leaves less time to prepare between classes, she added.

However, the alarms are sounding for everything but fires.

“What we were told by (the University of Arizona Police Department) is that there was a water flow problem,” said Residence Life Director Jim Van Arsdel. This means the water pressure into the building gets too low, and causes the fire alarm to sound because the ability to fight a fire is compromised, he said. At least one of the recent alarms sounded because of a faulty panel, Van Arsdel added.

Bri Markridge, an pre-architecture freshman had only been asleep for an hour before an alarm sounded on Tuesday.

Markridge had to walk down nine flights of stairs to evacuate the building.

“It’s really annoying. It’s only the third week of school and the fire alarm has gone off six times,” Markridge said.

Justin Hamman, a pre-business freshman, said that residents have been given no information as to why the alarms keep sounding.

“It’s not fun,” he added.

Joe Bermudez, a UAPD crime prevention officer, said that recent fire alarm calls have been maintenance related.

“We had instances where dust set off the system, or someone burns popcorn in the microwave,’ Bermudez said.

When a fire alarm sounds the obvious thing is to exit the building, Van Arsdel said. You can grab something on the way out, but the important thing is to be safe.

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