It’s become a regular occurrence for students to hear the fire alarms go off. Despite years of practicing fire drills, no one moves an inch.
“This year has seen an uptick in fire alarms being activated,” shared Assistant Principal Christopher Fortenberry. Sources estimate there have been at least a dozen — but the exact number of fire alarms this year has not been disclosed.
Only one alarm responded to an actual fire in a boys bathroom. People pulling the alarms and malfunctions account for the others.
There are notoriously fire alarms pulled on the last days of school, but rarely this much during the normal school year.
CVHS staff and students are done with the frequent interruptions by the fire alarm.
“They’re disruptive to the learning that is supposed to be happening and it desensitizes us for when there is an actual fire,” CVHS English teacher Michelle Lew said.
Senior Melody Ye expressed similar concerns: “We are never going to take the fire alarms seriously if there’s an actual fire.”
Lew shared insight to what goes through her head when the fire alarm sounds:
“I feel annoyed; I feel concerned for my students’ ears; I am worried that there may be an actual fire.”
The fire alarms are very distressing for many on campus, as students and staff anxiously wait for the obnoxious noise to cease with the all clear, so they can resume normal class activities.
Even though the majority of these disruptions are false, the fire department is notified every time the alarms go off, according to Fortenberry. To prevent future false alarms, the school is “placing roving security in known places to deter such incidents.”
Throughout school careers, beginning in kindergarten, students are taught to evacuate at the sound of fire alarms. Now, even teachers are unphased by the unpleasant warning sound. This begs the question: what will happen when there is a true emergency?