North Texas Daily

False fire alarms plague Sterling Fry Street residents

False fire alarms plague Sterling Fry Street residents

False fire alarms plague Sterling Fry Street residents
July 31
10:50 2013

Sarah Bettis / Contributing Writer

Questions and confusion surround fire alarm issues that have been occurring since the Sterling Fry Street apartment complex began housing residents last fall.

Students, residents and other Fry Street goers have speculated, but received few concrete answers on why false fire alarms have occurred consistently in the new apartment complex for more than nine months.

“I still think it’s people pulling the fire alarm,” Cool Beans bartender Calli Buckelew said. “They’ve gone off around 3 or 3:30 in the morning before, when I’ve been cleaning tables.”

Server Patrick McCaffrey from All About Mac doesn’t believe the incessant alarms have caused business to suffer, despite the fact that the restaurant occupies space in the bottom floor of the complex.

“They create more of a crowd outside than anything else,” McCaffrey said.

Sterling employees declined to comment. When asked if Sterling had sent apologies, surrounding businesses all replied the same – no apologies had been sent.

“The longest I’ve ever heard the alarms go off was for about 30 minutes,” Pie Five manager Austin Carter said. “They haven’t really affected our business because they don’t go off much when we’re open.”

Assistant Fire Marshal Chad Weldon of the Denton Fire Department explained that some of the alarm issues came from construction of new businesses on the ground floor of the same building.

“Part of the issue was the apartments were built and occupied prior to the restaurants and construction being completed,” Weldon said. “So unfortunately, the residents have to deal with the construction process and the testing.”

Weldon attended a meeting held by Sterling Fry management discussing fire safety and construction of the building and businesses.

“There were some miscommunications between the contractors and the apartment staff and management,” Weldon said. “So the first thing we worked on was to try to get the communications between the contractors and the management. And then explain to Sterling Fry that they need to have better communication with their residents.”

Sterling resident Sara Kennedy began counting the false alarms in the fall. Between September 9 and February 21, Kennedy counted a total of 25 times the alarm had gone off, including one real fire. One day, the alarm went off more than four times.

“I don’t evacuate,” Kennedy said. “It was actually pretty scary because there was a real fire and no one reacted at first. Luckily, everyone started seeing the smoke and evacuated. It was a small fire and was extinguished, but imagine if we never evacuated and it was more vicious.”

Weldon explained that a loose connection in one of the main terminals of two side by side electrical panels caused an arc of electricity to burn the wiring, but very little damage to the structure occurred.

The alarms have been known to go off at all hours of the night, waking everyone in the complex.

“The alarms break through the threshold of pain and pierce my ears,” Kennedy said. “They’ve made me fear going to bed only to be violently pulled awake, they’ve made me cry during tests because a lack of sleep the night before . . . The alarms have honestly just made me a nervous wreck.”

The apartment complex does send notices to its residents if they’re planning to test or work on the alarm system. Residents also received half off their December rent.

“They know it’s annoying, so they make sure to email or text us,” resident Nehlin Mehra said. “I think overall every apartment complex has their issues. Even though it’s expensive, management is mediocre and there were the fire alarm problems, nothing beats walking to Fry Street and campus.”

Despite the persistent problems with the fire alarms, some current residents committed to another year with Sterling.

“The only problem with Sterling is the fire alarms,” Kennedy said. “So if you can deal with the alarms or be aggressive enough to get them to change, come live here. But sleep at your own risk.”

About Author



Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
ARTS & LIFE: Alumna bakes up Denton-inspired cookie designs📝: Madison Brewster 📸: @DianarosasxRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
THE DOSE: Top horror films to get into the Halloween spirit📝: @OberkromJaden 🖼️: Isabella AlvaRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: Labor strikes should be about the workers, not the economy📝: @literatejesse 🖼️: @jasperbeeeRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
NEWS: University receives HEED Award for 5th consecutive year📝: Gianna Ortner-Findlay 📸: Coralynn ColeRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: Age limits on political offices are long overdue📝: @madelynn7694 🖼️: Jenna WessonRead more:
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad