False alarm leads to first Oviatt Library evacuation of semester

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A false alarm led to the evacuation of the Oviatt Library April 26 at about 2:20 p.m., filling the Oviatt Lawn with students waiting to return into the building.

The cause of the fire alarm being evacuated is not completely known, but has been tracked to the fourth floor West Wing, according to Jason Billick, Oviatt Library facilities manager.

“This one has been (the) first one of the spring semester,” Billick said. “It happens every now and again.”

Some students who were in the library at the time said they considered the alarm to be non-threatening, due to past false-alarm evacuations in the Oviatt.

Albert Smith, a graduate student in public health, was studying on the third floor of the library when the alarm went off.

He said he packed his bags slowly and did not take the evacuation seriously.

“No one informed us,” he said. “I felt no reason to panic, in a sense, because I’ve experienced many of these (evacuations). Usually, the (library) does have floor wardens. It just depends on where they were.”

Four floor wardens are responsible for each area of the Oviatt, said Billick, and there is no need for use of an intercom-alert system because there are alarms.

“There is a system to it,” Billick said.

Calypso Kiriacopulou, a second-year UCLA atmospheric science graduate student who lives near CSUN, said she was on the third floor studying when she heard the alarm.

“I wasn’t sure if I should actually leave,” Kiriocopoulou said. “It would’ve been nice if someone actually walked through and said, ‘Leave.’ I saw three other people leaving, so I figured I should leave, too.”

Library staff members were downstairs and by the escalators helping evacuate people, Kiriocopoulou said.

“It also would’ve been nice if they showed us other ways to get out,” Kiriocopoulou said.

Rose Conroy, a senior liberal studies major who has been a library assistant for four years, said she immediately began helping with the evacuation process when the alarm went off.

“We (had) some students who didn’t want to listen,” Conroy said.

Sue Yashapur, a public health graduate student who was studying in the library when the alarm went off, said it was not the first false-alarm evacuation she has been through in the Oviatt.

“I knew it wasn’t real,” Yashapur said. “It happened many times before, so I had a feeling this was one of those times.”

Correction

In the May 2 article ?False alarm leads to first Oviatt Library evacuation of semester,? Calypso Kiriacopoulou?s last name was misspelled.