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Birchwood Terrace getting new alarm system to warn of potential building collapse

Residents were told to evacuate Birchwood Terrace, located at 2440 Portage Avenue, after an inspection showed the building was severely deteriorating in various locations. (Joseph Bernacki/CTV News Winnipeg) Residents were told to evacuate Birchwood Terrace, located at 2440 Portage Avenue, after an inspection showed the building was severely deteriorating in various locations. (Joseph Bernacki/CTV News Winnipeg)
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A new alarm system is being tested Tuesday which would be used to warn people in the surrounding area if a Portage Avenue building is at risk of collapsing.

The city said Monday a new siren alarm will be tested at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on June 11 at 2440 Portage Avenue.

This come after around 250 residents were told to leave the Birchwood Terrace building in early May as it was found the building's structure had severe deterioration.

The alarm is being put in place to warn people in the area if the stability of the building has changed or if it could collapse.

"If the alarm goes off outside of the testing times, residents who are in homes or nearby buildings should shelter in place," the city's news release reads.

The city said people outside should move away from the building if they hear the alarm, and drivers should leave the area as fast as possible.

"Residents who are on evacuation alert have been instructed to immediately evacuate if the alarm goes off. They will be notified when it's safe to return home."

There is also the possibility of a false alarm, the city said, but people are told to treat it like a real alarm.

If the alarm does go off, an all-clear will be shared on a loudspeaker once the situation is considered safe.

The city said the alarm will be in place for three to four weeks.

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