A fifth year accountancy student pushed the fire alarm button allegedly by mistake near the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), yesterday, Sept. 17 at around 9:15 in the evening.
According to the guards, the person involved, who refuses to be identified, approached the guards at the Jacinto gate and claimed that he pushed the alarm by accident.
Students who were still in campus were oblivious that it was the fire alarm that was sounding off.
Others simply sat at the benches at the Roxas grounds and some walked through the hallways.
The fire alarm’s off switch is inside OSA. The guards do not have keys to the office so they could not turn off the alarm.
“Tibuok gabii dyud na magsaba (It will sound for the whole night),” Atienza said.
The alarm’s main switch (which shows all alarms in the university and deactivates them) had been previously placed at the Jacinto guard house, which was temporarily demolished during the construction of the Martin Hall.
Security from the Roxas gates tried checking the push-in-case-of-emergency buttons, if there was another way of turning the alarm off.
Some also tried calling Bong Eliab, the general assistant to the president (who also has main control over security). But, they could not reach him.
“Mokusog pa dyud na siya,” Diamante added.
The alarms were designed to get louder and louder as time passes until it is turned on. However, the guards at the Jacinto building did not hear the alarm sounding.
“Hinay diri (The sound is too weak from here),” Atienza said.
Diamante said he heard the alarm, but thought that it was just part of the music students were dancing to.
“Naa man guy ga-practice dira [sa may Thibault]. Ug naa pu’y bagting-bagting ang ilang music (There had been students practicing at the Thibault grounds. And, their music also have the same alarm sounds),” she said.
The alarm was set off at around 5 am.
“Gipabuhatan lang man ‘to sa amua ug report (We were only required to create a report),” one of the guards said.
According to the security personnel, the involved was not held liable of any offense for the accident.
“Wala man to siya kay aksidente (It was not an offense),” Atienza said.
However, University General Assistant to the President Jeremy Eliab posted earlier on his Facebook account. “Tampering with fire alarm system is a crime under RA 9514, aside from violations of the Univ regulations as stated in the eStudent Handbook and as issued by memo of the Univ President,” he wrote.
One of the guards added that the students are encouraged to push the buttons for any emergency.
“Makita man namo na sa main [switch] ang building ug ang floor (We see which alarm was pressed from the main switch),” the security said.
Upon seeing which alarm was activated, a guard will immediately respond to the alarm’s location.
The alarm system
The alarms are not only for fire accidents, but for all sorts of accidents.
Students, faculty, and staff should press the alarm if someone faints, bleeds, threatened, or harassed.
Everyone should also press the alarms if any pipes burst or when something burns.
“Pag dili ma-off ang isa motingog pud ang laing alarm (if one of the alarms are not turned off, the other
alarms will also start to sound),” one of the guards added.
When someone sounds the alarm, initially only that alarm will turn on. But if it is not turned off, other alarms will also start to turn on, and more alarms will sound as time passes.