Dormitory Fire Alarm Deactivated

A fire alarm that went off in Lowell House at about 9 a.m. Saturday morning was not reactivated until later that afternoon.

Building residents were fearful that their entries did not have the protection of a fire alarm for most of the day, a Lowell House proctor said yesterday.

Jol A. Silversmith '94, a proctor in Lowell House, said that while the risk of a fire occurring on any day is low, the delay in resetting the alarm system was disturbing.

"It is a really dangerous situation if you have the building full of people and you don't have a properly functioning fire alarm," Silversmith said.

But Harold A. Hawkes, associate director for engineering and utilities in the facilities maintenance department, said "the building was not unprotected."

All entries of Lowell House but the L. entry were fully protected, Hawkes said. In the L. entry, pull-type alarms and other sensors were also still active.

Hawkes acknowledged, however, that a faulty smoke detector in L-entry was left deactivated until about 3:30 p.m. The detector was faulty and was not reactivated in order to avoid another false alarm, he said.

Fixing the faulty smoke detector took some time because of activity in other areas of campus, including a small fire at Harvard Medical School's Vanderbilt Hall, Hawkes said.

"It took us longer than usual to reset that particular zone," Hawkes said