First fire drill fails

Alarm does not ring for more than half of building


LynNora Trosper

Students return to the building after a fire drill Sept. 27. The drill should have run in around four minutes, but took more than 10 because of a flaw in the system.

Jamie Zega and lakecentralnews

Shortly into the start of second period on Sept. 27, the fire alarm went off, but only for part of the building.

“The only area that worked was the main entrance area. As far as I know, nothing worked except the main entrance and into the Town Square area, [only] some of the Town Square,” Mr. Ed Beck, Assistant Principal, said. Beck is also in charge of emergency drill coordination.

Because the alarm did not go off for most of the building, principals were forced to go door-to-door and tell classes to exit the building.

“We were trying to get on the intercom and tell everybody they needed to evacuate the building, but the fire alarm trumps the intercom,” Beck said.

According to Beck, the repair company was going to start working on fixing the alarm by 10:30 a.m. Prior to their arrival, the cause of the faulty system was unknown, although it is speculated that construction is the cause.

Even though schools are supposed to run one drill a month, this was the first drill of the year. Had problems occurred previously, students would have been evacuated “the old-fashioned way,” according to Beck.

A school of Lake Central’s size should have an evacuating time of around four minutes. However, today’s drill ran 10:55.6.

“Normally, our first fire drill, we go just over four minutes. But by the end of the school year, we’re down to like two minutes and 25 seconds, but we also lost a lot of exits due to construction,” Beck said.

Beck emphasized that these situations are why we have drills–to make sure the school is still safe and students will be aware of any danger.

“According to the computer that runs [the system], it works. But when we practiced it, it didn’t work,” Beck said.