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Alarms set off in Lakeside due to water leak

Image by Peyton Poitras

On the evening of Aug. 29, two separate alarms were set off in Lakeside, prompting residents of Seymour and Bornstein Hall to temporarily evacuate. In both instances, the Winter Park Fire Department (WPFD) responded and cleared the scene. 

“Our on-call Facilities folks responded and contacted a technician to respond to solve the issues,” AVP of Public Safety Ken Miller noted in a statement to The Sandspur.  

Per the Campus Safety Incident Report, the first alarm occurred from 6:59 p.m. to approximately 7:25 p.m. and the second alarm from 8:50 p.m. to approximately 9:00 p.m. later that evening. According to Assistant Vice President of Facilities Services Jeremy Williamson, both alarms were the result of water leaking onto detection devices. 

Image by Peyton Poitras

One of the detectors that set off an alarm was in the elevator closest to the Cornell Fine Arts Center (CFAC).  

“It’s important to note that the fire alarm device/detector wasn’t faulty, it was damaged due to a minor water leak,” Williamson noted. “The fire alarm device/detector is inspected by a fire alarm system inspector, not the elevator inspector, and the system was inspected in July 2023. The fire alarm device/detector damage at this location was due to a water leak on the 5th floor that shorted the device/detector, thus setting off the alarm.”  

The damaged fire detector was replaced on Aug. 31 and the system has been functioning normally since.  

Image by Peyton Poitras

“It was incredibly annoying, especially to happen twice in one night,” said Karina Ekholm (’23), a Lakeside resident. “It took time away from homework and other things I could have been doing instead of waiting outside when there was no real fire.” 

“I was just sitting at my desk, then I heard the alarm. It was blaring in my ears, and I got jumped scared,” noted Victoria King (’23), another Lakeside resident.  

“It gave me a heart attack,” added Ekholm in regard to the alarm’s volume.  

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