At 9:15 on the morning of March 15, the fire alarm in Seattle Central’s Science and Math building (SAM) went off. All students and staff in the building evacuated and waited for nearly 30 minutes as the fire department arrived, cleared the building, and left.
According to the Security Office at Central, no evidence of fire whatsoever was found. The alarm record indicates that someone manually pulled the fire alarm on the 3rd floor, so it seems as if it was either an accident or a prank.
It is important to note that knowingly pulling a fire alarm when there is no need to is a misdemeanor criminal offense that can result in a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. False alarms pull firefighters away from real emergencies and can cause dangerous panics within a building.
Sean Chesterfield, head of security, adds that while the evacuation was successful, in the future students need to stand farther back from the doors; this time, students congregated right in front of the building until they were asked to move, and even then they only went a couple yards off. The threat of a dangerous explosion from SAM’s gas and chemical stores, especially considering the recent gas leak, means that people should be as far away as possible if there is an actual fire. This is both for their own safety and to make a clear path for first responders.
This is important to keep in mind as next quarter (Spring 2019) there is a campus-wide fire drill scheduled. When this happens, calmly exit your classroom, leaving personal belongings behind, and walk outside the building and (preferably) across the street.
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