Faulty detector causes third unplanned evacuation

Dec. 10, 2004, midnight | By Danny Scheer | 15 years, 11 months ago

Unforeseen evacuation causes inconveniences

A faulty smoke detector went off during 5A lunch on Dec. 10 in the 120s hallway, causing the third unplanned evacuation of the entire building since the beginning of the school year.

Blair Safety Officer Mark Curran explained that an activated detector, not a pulled alarm, caused the evacuation. "In every hallway, there are detectors for fire, smoke and gas,” said Curran. One of those detectors went off "by itself,” said Curran.

Building services and administration do not know why the detector was activated. "Sometimes, I don't know why, they have a faulty smoke detector,” said Plant Operator Reginald Tobin. There was no fire in the 120s hallway or any alarm pulled, according to Tobin. "The detector got the wrong signal, so it went off,” he continued.

Administrators planned to have a fire drill at 8:20 a.m. but cancelled it earlier today due to bad weather, according to Attendance Secretary Roxanne Fus.

When the current Blair building first opened, it also had troubles with faulty detectors. "There was one detector outside the administration room on the third floor that went off about five times in three years,” explained Curran. After several replacements, the alarm ceased to activate by itself.

Senior Sirak Beru was one of the Blazers who had to evacuate the school and walk to the stadium in bad weather. "It was extremely muddy,” said Beru. "People went on the sidewalks because no one wanted to go in the mud.” Senior Prasanna Vasudevan noticed other Blazers having trouble evacuating. "It was very slippery,” he said, "I saw a couple of people falling down [into the mud.]”

Blair teachers were also negatively affected by the evacuation. English teacher Lucas Henry's class was in the middle of writing BCRs in response to Elie Weisel's Night. "This was definitely an interruption of my class,” Henry said. "I was not prepared for this.”

AP Statistics teacher Valerie Franck questioned the integrity of her probability test, which was interrupted by the false alarm. "I don't know if I can trust the results of this very important exam,” she said.

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