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False Fire Alarm Prompts Evacuation at San Francisco’s New Ikea on Opening Day

Written by Joel UmanzorUpdated at Aug. 23, 2023 • 7:12pmPublished Aug. 23, 2023 • 5:39pm
Shoppers and staffers were forced to leave the downtown Ikea after a false fire alarm interrupted the store's grand opening on Wednesday. | Source: Joel Umanzor/The Standard

A false fire alarm prompted San Francisco's New Ikea store to evacuate the premises during its grand opening Wednesday—just a day after staff mistakenly filed a false robbery report to police.

Arda Akalin, manager at the new store, said an issue with the smoke detectors prompted the store's fire doors to shut and forced an evacuation of the building until San Francisco fire officials cleared the store for reentry.

"There wasn't any smoke," he said. "It was an issue with the smoke detectors."

Hundreds of customers waited approximately 30 minutes outside of the store's front entrance, according to customer James Wong, who stopped by for the grand opening.

An Ikea worker leads a group of customers down a stairwell after a smoke detector prompted a false alarm in the store on Wednesday. | Source: James Wong

"I was in the deli area waiting in line," Wong said. "They eventually told us it was a false alarm."

READ MORE: San Francisco Ikea Raises False Robbery Alarm as Staff Eagerly Tests Systems

Wong said he was led out of the deli area by a worker down a staircase before being escorted to the front of the store.

"It was somewhat organized," he said.

The opening of Ikea in San Francisco has been hyped as a shot in the arm for San Francisco's struggling Downtown.

The store opened to the general public on Wednesday morning after holding several soft openings and press events for invited guests in the days leading up to the main event.

Joel Umanzor can be reached at

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