At approximately 2:45 p.m. last Thursday, the fire alarm went off in Peter J. Shields Library. Staff and students in the library evacuated the building and remained outside for around 20 minutes before firefighters cleared the building for re-entry.
“People were hesitant, there was some confusion and then people started to leave,” said second-year English major Lauren Ashe, who was in the reading room when the alarm went off. “I wasn’t panicked about there being a fire, but I wanted to leave just in case.”
Some students in the library did not appear to be alarmed by the disruption.
“I had just left a meeting and as I walked through the reading room, there were still students present,” said Amy Kautzman, associate university librarian for humanities and social sciences. “I shouted, ‘This is a fire alarm, please exit the building.’ Students should know that the fire department does not test the alarm system unannounced during regular hours, so if they hear the fire alarm, they should always take the nearest exit immediately.”
According to UC Davis Fire Chief Nathan Trauernicht, the alarm went off due to a water leak from the women’s restroom.
“The water leak caused one detector to go off, and that sets off the entire system,” Trauernicht said.
Facilities fixed the leak and the problem was resolved.
— Meredith Sturmer