January 28, 2019 3:27 pm
Updated: January 28, 2019 4:44 pm

Security alert system at Carleton U sends false warning of attacker on campus

According to the school, the false alert was sent out while emergency templates were being updated.


A false alarm was raised at Carleton University on Monday when the school’s automated security alert system sent out an email to students saying there was a “threat” on campus.

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The email was sent out to students at around 1:40 p.m. and stated that, “An active attacker(s) has been sighted.” However, 15 minutes later, the school tweeted out that the email was sent in error and that there was no actual threat on campus.

“Students, faculty and staff are advised that a recent alert about an attacker on campus was a false alarm,” the school said in a tweet. “The university profusely apologies for the error and the resulting upset that was caused. We can reassure you that everything is safe and under control.”

According to the school, the false alert was sent out while emergency templates were being updated. The message was sent by mistake instead of saved.

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“The wrong computer key was hit and a template for one of several types of potential emergencies went out to the community in error, rather than just being saved in Carleton’s Emergency Notification System,” wrote the school in a statement.

Some students also had complaints that some did not receive the warning in the first place. Though the university said those who haven’t received warning may yet still get one.

“Please be advised that some community members may yet receive the alert about an attacker on campus in the coming hours,” said the school. “Please disregard that notice. We are working to correct bugs in the system that delay messages for some people.”

The school is encouraging students who may have been negatively affected by the false alarm to visit the University’s counselling services at
to Health and Counselling Services, CTTC Building, Suite 2600.

READ MORE: Carleton U says chemistry building remains closed after Saturday night’s fire

This is the second disruptive incident to hit the school in a week. This past Saturday, a fire broke out in the Steacie building, a chemistry building on campus, which called for an evacuation which included the surrounding buildings.


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