Students Left Sleep-Deprived After Recent Uptick in False Fire Alarms in Housing


Nick Asselin

San Carlos Park Fire Department responded to a fire alarm on Oct. 20 at 1:50 a.m. Students evacuated into the parking lot and waited for the fire department to clear the building for reentering.

Nick Asselin, Sports Editor

Between attending class, club meetings, hanging out with friends and studying, FGCU students need all the sleep they can get to succeed. Recently, students living on campus have been woken up in the middle of the night due to false fire alarms.

On Oct. 20, there were four incidents in North Lake housing that involved a false fire alarm. Most recently, there was another incident in South Village Osprey housing. Due to these incidents, some students missed class because they lost sleep after not being allowed to return to their rooms until the fire alarm was silenced. 

“It was really annoying because it was so late and I was tired,” sophomore Sam Denton said. “Being stuck out there so late was really hard because I have morning classes that I ended up missing because of how tired I was, and they won’t be considered excused absences.”

According to the FGCU University Police Department weekly report, the fire alarm went off at 12:38 a.m. in North Lake building R. Junior John Cwikowski says he returned to his room, but the fire alarm went off again shortly after returning. The report states the alarm was not reset until 2:46 a.m.

“It hadn’t even been five minutes and the second alarm went off,” Cwikowski said. “I had enough time to go to the bathroom and by the time I laid back down it went off again. It really broke up my sleep schedule because I was already in a deep sleep. Going back to sleep after all that was tough.”

Cwikowski says he was not too worried after it was just his building that had alarms go off, but when he found out other buildings had similar incidents, he became concerned.

“When it happened in another North Lake building, I thought it was just a coincidence,” Cwikowski said. “Now that it also happened in South Village and multiple North Lake buildings, I really hope it doesn’t happen again because it is weird that it happened so frequently.”

The UPD report states the fire alarm in North Lake building S went off at 4:52 a.m. on Oct. 20 as well. UPD lists at 5:00 a.m. that housing was notified to set up a fire watch and the system would need to be repaired. The third incident listed for that date was in laundry room 3 in North Lake. The UPD report states the panel would not reset and the alarm was silenced. 

The fourth incident was at 10:17 a.m. in North Lake building E. The UPD report states they attempted to reset the alarm, but it would not reset. They said they would have to wait until Simplex, the fire alarm system maker, could make repairs and reset it.

“I’m glad that there was no real emergency,” Denton said. “Although, the fact that it went on for so long was insane. I don’t know why it would’ve taken that long to get fixed.”

Sophomore Amanda Targos says the fire alarm went off in the Osprey building located in South Village at about 4 a.m. on Oct. 26. She says the alarms went off due to an exit sign getting knocked down. She is worried that these false alarms may soon impact how people react during a real emergency.

“My first thought is that something happened in the kitchen, so my mind just thinks the worst thing possible which is scary,” Targos said. “I am concerned about them happening quite often because it makes me think if they will work properly when something actually serious is happening.”