Broken Fire System at Hamden Library, Firefighter Keeps Watch

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Last week, Hamden found out the fire alarm system didn’t work. Now a firefighter is keeping watch over the building. (Published Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013)

    The fire alarms at Hamden's library and senior center were discovered to be broken last week, and since then, a Hamden firefighter has been stationed at the building each day.

    Firefighters stay at the complex from about 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., as mandated by the state when there's no working fire system.

    “I'm glad that they're keeping everybody safe, but I hope they fix the system,” said Diana Henderson of Hamden.

    Hamden is investigating why the system hasn't working and how long it's been out of commission. Investigators are even going back to when the system was first installed in 2008 to get to the root of the problem.

    Chief Administrative Officer Curt Leng said the issue was discovered late last month when the town conducted routine checks of building and fire alarm systems. The resulting report showed numerous deficiencies with the fire system at the library, which Leng said was surprising since the system is relatively new.

    The town subsequently performed an evaluation to figure out what needs to be done to bring the building up to code. The New Haven Register reports that those modifications will cost about $70,000, and the current alarm company is figuring out what needs to be done to correct the problem. The original cost to install the system a few years ago was $170,000, according to the Register.

    Leng said he learned of the severity of the problem last week and that the final price of the repairs will be reported on Thursday.

    “It probably put people at risk for a few years, which we didn't know about it. Fortunately, nothing happened thank goodness,” said Manny Meltzer.

    Retired New Haven firefighter Bob Gilhuly said people shouldn't be too concerned that a fire would break out here.

    “In a building like this, they're not going to have that much of a problem with a fire,” he said.

    However, until the fire alarm system is fixed, a firefighter will continue to roam the hallways just in case. It's not clear how long it will take for repairs to be made.