Unplanned morning fire alarms cause confusion


On a May morning, confused students crowd around the turf after evacuating because of a fire alarm.

Josh White, Photo Editor

On two occasions the fire alarm at Schreiber went off before school began. These alarms sent students and teachers outside for a few minutes, and back inside without any explanation.
This past summer, a new alarm system was installed throughout Schreiber. During the school year, under New York State public school requirements, it is mandatory for public schools to conduct 12 fire drills throughout a given school year. Schreiber conducts eight fire drills from Sept. to Dec. and four fire drills from Jan. to June. These planned fire drills fulfill the state requirement. In addition, during these fire drills, key Schreiber staff are informed ahead of time to prepare for the drill.
However, as many staff members and students may know, unplanned fire alarms have gone off at Schreiber recently.
On May 21, at approximately 7:48 a.m., the fire alarm sounded, resulting in students and staff evacuating the building. It was discovered that there was a malfunction in the alarm system, and that there was a defective fire alarm head that caused the problem. Nevertheless, this created mass confusion for students
arriving at school.
“My mom was about to turn onto
Campus Drive to drop me off for school, however, there were cones in place preventing us from going up to the school,” said junior Brandon Tsou. “I had to walk up Campus Drive so I wouldn’t be late for class.”
However, this would not be the last unexpected fire alarm to sound before school in the past few weeks.
On May 26, at approximately 7:36 a.m., the fire alarm went off once again. Students and faculty were evacuated from the building. This alarm sounded for a different reason than the one previous. A few students in the A-Wing were playing with a soccer ball and unintentionally hit the fire alarm.
On May 29, at approximately 1:48 p.m., the fire alarm sounded for a third time, causing unexpected disruption for students.
“I was taking a test and I was about to finish the last question and the next thing I know I was being evacuated out of the building,” said junior Kayla Shafkowitz. “Luckily my teacher let me finish once we were allowed back in the building.”
For staff and students, these alarms cut into class time, including tests and
other review as finals and regents exams approach.
After these unexpected alarms, Assistant Principal Mr. David Miller was satisfied with the student and faculty’s cooperation.
“Whenever unexpected things like this come up, our students and staff respond very well,” said Assistant Principal Mr. Miller. “We are always very impressed by how well they respond and I think that comes down to how well they are trained and the success of our fire drills early in the year.”