Despite ‘several previous assurances’, the defective fire alarm continues to cause problems for clubbers.
The Glasgow University Union (GUU) board of management has released a statement saying that it is “no more happy about dealing with false alarms than you are” after a fire alarm in the Hive last Friday morning which forced clubbers to evacuate the building early yet again.
On 3 December 2015, GUU president Rory Slater assured members that the problems with the fire alarm had been resolved, but a series of false alarms have led to the building being evacuated on at least two more occasions this semester already.
In a statement issued on 7 February 2016, the board of management said: “The Board of Management fully understands the dissatisfaction caused by the number of false alarms that have taken place in the new Hive (but in your own interest, please continue to co-operate promptly with any evacuation as there is no guarantee that an alarm is not for a real emergency).
“Please be assured that the Board, staff and stewards on duty are no more happy about dealing with false alarms than you are – we are doing everything possible to ensure this is sorted out.”
“We have been given several previous assurances that the initial technical problems with the system in the Extension were being solved, but although progress has been made, the contractors and two different fire alarm companies have not so far provided a completely effective cure.”
“The issues are being dealt with now at the top levels of the Estates & Buildings department and wider university management. They are well aware of how urgent the matter is and have put extra resources into finally resolving it. We will be meeting them in the next few days and working closely to ensure we get these problems ironed out, and we will keep you informed with relevant updates.”
The fire alarm caused clubbers to be evacuated from the Hive’s Switch Saturday club night on Saturday 16 January 2016, leaving many outside without coats in subzero temperatures. Staff were unable to resolve the issue before the 3am license expired, and clubbers were unable to enter the building to retrieve anything left in the cloakroom until the alarm had been silenced by firefighters.
The Glasgow Guardian asked Rory Slater if he believed the problem with the fire alarm was now damaging the reputation of The Hive, and if the problem had become more than just an inconvenience to the Union and its members. Slater replied: “The reception we have got from members and guests about the new Hive has been outstanding. The new facilities in the extension are completely unrivaled in Glasgow and indeed in Universities throughout the UK. We do however believe that the problems with the fire alarm are now damaging this reputation and must be dealt with as a highest priority.”
“There have been multiple teething problems which the contractors have been working through and although progress has been made in general, we are not convinced that a final solution has been reached.”
Asked if the University or the Union will be asking for any compensation as a result of the inconvenience and/or loss of business that has resulted from the problems with the fire alarm, Slater said: “Our primary concern is to get the facilities working right to prevent any further disruption to our members. We are therefore committed to working as close [sic] as possible to both the University and the contractors and believe that asking for compensation would not be a productive way forward.”
A spokesman for the University told The Glasgow Guardian: “We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the false fire alarms that have been taking place in the new Hive facility. The safety and security of students and staff is our number one priority and we are working hard to resolve the matter. A meeting involving colleagues from Estates and Buildings and the GUU will take place on Wednesday 10 February to agree a coordinated approach to the issue.”