Malfunctioning sprinkler prompts alarm at hospital

Jocelyne Lloyd
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Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Charlottetown, seen here in the winter, is Prince Edward Island's largest referral hospital.

Charlottetown firefighters were called to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at about 7:30 a.m. when an alarm went off in the building.

Firefighters responding to the Code Red didn't find any sign of a fire and officials with the hospital say there was no combustion and no patients were disrupted.

A minor malfunction of the sprinkler head in a staff stairwell next to Unit 4 triggered the alarm. The stairwell is not accessible to the public.

A similar occurance happened in January, when a steam valve let too much steam escape, driving up the humidity in the lobby of the hospital.

Firefighters also responded to that alarm in January but weren’t needed. In that case, part of the hospital was shut down so no one could enter the building until the problem was fixed, which took about 35 or 40 minutes.

Organizations: Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Unit 4

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • QEH Worker
    April 09, 2014 - 16:47

    Earlier this week a different sprinkler went off in the back hall. Worst part was that the entire hospital was alerted to a "Code Red in the front lobby". Talk about screwed up system.

  • Perhaps
    April 09, 2014 - 12:31

    Perhaps the sprinklers should require a 2-factor authentication before they go off?

    • Morgan
      April 09, 2014 - 20:39

      The alarm senses a pressure drop in the piping servicing the sprinkler, not when the sprinkler itself goes off. Your idea sounds good in principal, but not logical with the way sprinkler systems are installed!