Administration says to stay calm during fire drills

A fire alarm was activated between sixth and seventh period last week. The cause of the alarm was a worker in the mechanical room where the air handler was. A dust particle got into the fire alarm causing it to go off. Assistant principal Catherine Halbuer said if something of this nature were to happen again, wait for instruction.

“What we’ve been telling students and staff all year is when the fire alarm goes off, you need to pause, stop and listen to wait for an announcement,” she said. “Do not automatically leave the building and go to an evacuation site unless you smell smoke or fire.”

Halbuer said it’s important to wait for instruction in case the fire alarm was tripped by an unwanted visitor.

“It has been shown from the research of tragedies at other schools that the persons that wanted to do harm had pulled a fire alarm and as people exited the building, they were able to create lots of damage,” she said.

If you are certain there is a fire, Halbuer said you should exit the building as quickly as possible.

“If you smell or see smoke, you should exit immediately to the closest, safest exit,” she said. “If you can’t see any of that, just wait for an announcement or if you feel safer, move to the closest classroom.”

Overall, Halbuer said she is pleased with the way students handled the alarm.

“We think it went very well because we could see a lot of students stop and pause to listen for the announcement,” she said. “There was a little bit of a delay since they didn’t know what to do, but nobody panicked, not everybody than exited the building. The new protocol is starting to become part of the habit that we respond to.”

Sophomore Loren Nienajadlo said he was confused since there wasn’t an announcement made right away.

“I was confused because no one came on the intercoms for a long time to say whether to evacuate or not,” he said.

By Michael Stewart