What fire?

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Cartoon by Joanna Hsieh

Min Kim, Staff Writer

The fire alarm that rang during first period on May 19 caused confusion among students as well as teachers.

Unlike usual fire alarms, this one was not a drill. According to Scott Sodorff, the vice principal, it was caused by actual smoke from second floor of the K building. The fire alarm caused the students and teachers to realize how they should react better to an occasion like this.

“It was startling, so we stopped what we were doing and paused for a second,” statistics teacher Geoff Tipper said. “I looked outside the door to see if I could see anything happen or see other teachers leaving, but mainly I saw most of the teachers look outside the door wondering what was happening.”

When the fire alarm first rang, many students and teachers said they were confused, surprised and hesitant to leave the classroom.

“Well, when the alarm first rang, I saw my teacher looking out the door and talking to the other teachers in the building about whether they should leave the classroom or not,” sophomore Jin Kim said. “They were waiting for the announcement.”

When a fire alarm goes off, it is both the teacher’s and the students’ responsibility to evacuate the room as quickly as possible and move out to the field. However, this incident clearly showed that the correct conduct under emergency situations was not followed.

“The teachers and students reacted better to a fire drill than this one, which is bad because this was an actual fire,” Kim said.

This is a problem because people need to take fire alarms more seriously. It is very dangerous for them to be ignored. The fire alarms are there for a reason–to protect people.

From now on, in order to avoid a serious problem, all staff and students on campus will react differently.

“Following this one, I sent out an email to the entire staff saying that we are back online for our emergency procedures so anytime they hear that alarm, they must evacuate immediately and if it is a false alarm, they will just go back to class. Now we are very concrete on what happens here.” Sodorff said.

What will it take for people to take fire alarms more seriously? Everyone should know that they must react to fire alarms more alertly instead of waiting until they realized that they are in trouble.