Bomb Threats and False Fire Alarms Continue at York University

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At 8pm last night the evacuation alarm sounded in the Technology Enhanced Learning Building (TEL), on the Southside of the York University campus, prompting everyone inside to evacuate the building. We were told to stand at a great distance from the building as the security conducted there investigation in the mater. Security had secured the building and was very tight lipped about what was happening inside. Surprisingly, there were no fire trucks or police cruisers at the scene before or after the alarm was disarmed.

False alarm and bomb threats are a regular on campus throughout the school year, the majority of them coming around the exam months of December and April. Exam time false alarms at YorkU have been down since 2005 according to Gragan Spasojevic, manager of security operations at YorkU, but are still playing the disruptive role to student, faculty and staff. In 2005 the university paid a bill of $162 189.62 to the Toronto Fire Services for responding to false fire alarms. In an April 6th YorkU News Wire Spasojevis stated,

“In responding to false fire alarms and bomb threats, emergency services such as the Toronto Fire Services and Toronto Police Service are tying up valuable resources which could be used to respond to real emergencies, thus placing other members of the wider community at risk.”

The question “What if…?” always remains in the minds of those who work and study at YorkU. What if there was a real bomb? What if it did go off? Would that now constitute a “real emergency?” In a post 9/11 and Virginia Tech world one can never be to certain. Just because these instances happen during a time were these threats are more common I don’t think they should be taken lightly. I understand that the cost of the false alarms may be taking away from the university’s lavish spending on new buildings, subways and archives, but the security on hand last night should at least have been able to tell us what was going on so we could take the proper precautions. Instead were instructed to stand over there and wait. Did I feel safe? Nope, not at all…

Photo: February 21, 2007 Exam false fire alarm
Courtesy: orbz on Flickr

1 Comment so far

  1. talk talk talk (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 10:05 am

    I notice lack of communication is a given in this society. From Menu Foods not speaking about their tainted pet food, then only in minimal doses, to TTC personelle not telling patrons why a subway station is closed to this sort of situation. There seems to be this pervasive idea that if people don’t know, they won’t panic or that it’s none of their business. When, in fact, anything that affects the public or an individual is their business and gives them the right to know, plus understanding brings acceptance and compliance far more readily.



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