Water pressure spike triggers fire alarms in NE Bend

Fire alarms blasted in businesses across the north end of Bend Friday after a surge in the city’s water system, which impacted the gauges in commercial suppression systems.

Bend Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Trish Connolly said about 20 fire alarms went off simultaneously forcing the buildings to be evacuated. Home Depot, ODOT and the Central Oregon Daily offices were just a few of those involved.

City of Bend Communications Director Anne Aurand said occasionally, during new construction tie-ins, high-pressure water can enter into lines and spike water pressure. In this case, some water lines got over pressurized during a construction tie in.

“It doesn’t happen very often, especially considering how much construction we have going on,” Aurand said.

Connolly said the department knew they were false alarms, but called to confirm with each location there was no smoke in the building. Dispatch was able to tell the difference between a smoke alarm and a water flow alarm, she said.

 

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