Unnecessary fire alarms disrupt learning environment

This week, third period was interrupted by a fire alarm. Students filed out of the building as the alarms rang. The alarm was set off within minutes before the start of the lunch periods, causing the schedule to be adjusted for the rest of the day in order to compensate for the disruption.

While not all fire alarms are triggered in bathrooms, such instances are certainly a leading cause of school day disruptions. It is wholly inappropriate and unacceptable for students to smoke in bathrooms and further disrupt others’ learning environment by setting off fire alarms.

Fire alarms going off has become a familiar occurrence at school; so familiar, in fact, that when a fire alarm goes off students tend to take their time while “evacuating” the building. When the fire alarm goes off it is expected that students react as if there is really a fire to ensure their safety in the event that there is actually a threat to student’s safety. In a school with a very prominent and traumatic history of fires, the carefree attitude toward the alarms is concerning.

Additionally, the fire alarm going in a non-drill situation means the fire department has to respond. This results in one or more fire engines reporting to campus. The time and resources of first responders should be respected and not wasted by students who want to take a vape break in the school restroom.

When an alarm goes off unexpectedly, especially when it is set off in a restroom, administration has to track cameras to see which students were entering and exiting the bathroom around the time that the fire alarm was set off. Administrators have daily tasks that are of a greater importance than tedious tasks like checking cameras and investigating students. This also can become an annoyance for students who were innocently using the restroom where the alarm was set off.