STUDENTS were evacuated from the James Joyce Library due to a fault with a sensor on the building’s fire alarm which occurred on both Monday and Tuesday, 23th and 24th March.
The alarm has subsequently been fixed however the evacuation caused disruption to students as library officials felt it was necessary to vacate the building. The library had received a verbal and written complaint from a student following the evacuation stating that the alarms were set off deliberately.
Joint Director of the James Joyce Library, Marie Burke, confirmed that this was not the case. She reported that the alarm was raised due to “a malfunction with [the sensor] in that the sensitivity level was too high.”
Ms Burke admitted that the incident was inconvient for students especially at such a busy time of year. “I appreciate particularly on Tuesday we were busy… but at the same time you know the sensor goes off, the alarm goes off and we have to go through the procedure.”
However, she felt that it is better that sensors are “over-sensitive” to enable quick detection of a fire. Burke stated that the sensor was “fixed within 20 minutes” after the evacuation on Tuesday and is confident that the problem had been fixed.
SU Education Officer, Paul Lynam said he is content that the problem has been resolved, stating it was an “old system which has now been rectified and replaced which we’re happy with.”
Staff at the library did not receive any reports of stolen goods during the evacuation and and are confident that their security measures used during the re-entry of the building were effective.
Ms Burke stated that “there’s a phased re-entry to the building”, adding that “staff go up to the various floors to keep an eye on people coming back to their desks and what’s going on.”
Ms Burke stated that it is important that fire drills take place, explaining that, “we would like to do one at least once a year and sometimes twice a year” to ensure that all students are familiar with the process. She also commented that the library have issued fire drills “in the past without telling anybody but normally we would have to give people about two days notice.”