By Brad McLeod
BURNABY— In what will certainly be described as alarming (No. —Ed) news, Simon Fraser University made history this week with the installation of a bold new technological development, the world’s first totally silent fire alarms.
The new alarms will look and function just as the old ones did, with the only difference being that they will now be completely imperceptible to the human ear.
The initiative has reportedly come as a direct result of student pressure, with many students describing the occasional ringing of alarms in the AQ as “kind of annoying.” Some students have even admitted to having to stop and look around for up to 10 seconds before resuming their normal activity.
This mild inconvenience was too much for the University to sit idly by, and after pouring through the countless disgruntled Facebook and Twitter posts they secretly monitor, they decided to take action.
“We pride ourselves on the quality of our professors too much to let them be interrupted by some warning of nearby fire,” said a representative for the school. “I’m sure most of our students would agree that they would rather die in a fiery blaze than miss a minute of one of their top-notch lectures.”
With a student poll notwithstanding, these remarks are assumed to be totally accurate, but they still only highlight a few of the benefits the new fire alarms will provide. Despite removing the only safety aspect of the device, the new alarms have actually been described as safer by the company who developed it.
“Recent studies have suggested that ordinary fire alarms can cause many ear related injuries including temporary loss of hearing and a ringing sensation. In fact, in most cases, more ear trauma is caused by fire alarms than fire itself,” commented John Stevens, the inventor of the Silent Fire Alarm.
Although the new alarms have had a mostly positive reception, there are still those who are unpleased with the change.
“I just don’t get how we’re going to know if there’s a fire. Has everyone forgotten what fire alarms even mean?” commented the one student who actually evacuates in the event of a fire alarm.
According to the University this will not be a problem. Instead of listening for alarms, students are now being asked to follow @FireSFU on Twitter for instant updates on whether or not the school is burning at any given time.
“Everyone seemed so bored with the old bell ringing,” said the SFU representative. “Now the alarms send out dispatches to social media outlets and make fire safety fun again.”
Despite not having many followers yet, the account has generated considerable interest from students who eagerly await their chance to follow and ignore its warnings.
SFU has maintained that although no more audible fire alarms will take place, that does not necessarily mean the end to all alarms. The school’s “terrorism alert” alarms, which sound identical to that of the old fire alarms, will remain active.
If students hear these alarms, that is an indication that the school is in serious danger. Everyone is advised to clear the building immediately or their lives will be in jeopardy, and it won’t be just some bullshit fire.