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Davis, California

Monday, April 15, 2024

Editorial: Don’t cry wolf

Last Tuesday, there was a small fire in a custodial closet in the Memorial Union (MU) sparked by the lighting system.

The fire alarms went off, firetrucks came and people eventually evacuated the Bookstore, the ASUCD Coffee House and Freeborn Hall.

This was at least the fourth time the fire alarms have gone off in the past two quarters and thus not everyone felt the need to evacuate the building. While the fire in the custodial closet was small and no one was injured, if a larger fire had taken place, people who did not evacuate immediately could have been hurt.

In the past when fire alarms went off in the MU, many students assumed that it was merely a false alarm and continued shopping at the Bookstore and eating at the CoHo. On Tuesday, most people left only after  firefighters asked students to evacuate. Firefighters had to call the front office of The Aggie and KDVS to make sure that people had evacuated Lower Freeborn, more than 15 minutes after the alarm began.

While one would hope that everyone would evacuate in response to a fire alarm,  it seems students have become immune to the painful scream of the emergency alert system.

The school should have a notification system for when it is working on fire alarms or a fire alarm goes off by accident, so that students know when it is a false alarm.

Thankfully, the fire in the MU only harmed a few rolls of toilet paper this time. But UC Davis should be more prepared for the next time something in the MU is actually on fire.


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