Fire alarm shortens seventh period

Oct. 23, 2001, midnight | By Kevin Chang | 19 years, 3 months ago

A fire alarm sounded at the end of 5B lunch today, sending students to Blazer stadium for over twenty minutes.

The unplanned alarm sounded at 12:27, just before the end of period 5B. Students were allowed back into the building at 12:48, 21 minutes later.

During this year's first and only planned fire drill, on October 11, administrators discovered that there was not enough room for all classes to be in the stands. Many students who were unable to find room in the bleachers stood by the fence separating the field from the stands or in clusters by the bleacher stairs.

The placement of classes was revised after that drill, but overcrowding remained a problem. According to Mark Curran, chairman of Blair's Crisis Planning Committee, every room assignment was modified after the earlier drill. "New instructions have been printed and are now in the process of being posted,” he said, adding that all rooms should have signs by Monday, October 29.

In the new plan, Curran said, "every classroom has a row and a section to themselves.” The revised plans also move PE classes to the track instead of the stadium for fire drills. "At lunch and between classes, we're just getting everybody in the stadium.” Students in other rooms, such as offices and workrooms, are sent to the center of the field in the new plan.

After students were allowed to re-enter the building, the administration made an announcement that a faulty sensor in the elevator shaft was to blame for the alarm and that students should go to seventh period. Curran said that the alarm "just went off.”

Curran said that today's drill was run "absolutely” better than the October 11 drill. During the that drill, he said, seven minutes and ten seconds passed before all students were inside the stadium, a figure which was reduced to six minutes and forty-five seconds for today's drill.

During unplanned fire drills, one fire truck and one EMT vehicle are dispatched to the school. The first firefighter on the scene accompanied by an administrator to the location of the alarm, where he conducts tests on the area. The firefighter uses a specialized gas meter to check levels of ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and natural gas, among other substances. If and when the building is deemed safe, students are allowed to re-enter the building. There is a $500 fine for intentionally causing a false fire alarm.

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Kevin Chang. Kevin Chang was born on April 28, 1985. This makes him a bull, and coincidentally, a Taurus. Somehow, he ended up in the Magnet program at Montgomery Blair High School, where he is now a SENIOR! 03! Yes, he is a geek. He is often … More »

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