Pulling fire alarms is no joke

By: Emma Glennon, Reporter

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Fire alarms are meant to be pulled for emergencies, they are not meant to be pulled for pranks. There are just some things that aren’t meant to be used as toys under any circumstances. The fire alarm is one of them, it’s soul purpose is just to keep you safe. When people use things for what they are not made for, it causes more harm than entertainment. The puller may not realize that they aren’t the only one that faces the consequences of their actions.

When an alarm is pulled a student can be affected in many ways that some people don’t even think about. I am in a wheelchair so, when I am upstairs there’s a different procedure that has to be taken than when I am downstairs. If the alarm goes off while I am upstairs I can’t just simply take the elevator like some people may think. Instead, I have to ride down the stairs in something called an evacuation chair.  Basically, it’s a chair with skis on the bottom so someone can push me down the stairs and it can easily slide. This causes a lot of anxiety for me because you have to tilt forward before you start going down and it can be scary.

When we have to all file outside and wait for the school to give us the all clear to go back in, it takes time out of class. We have 50 minutes in each class so, if we 15-20 minutes outside that’s almost half of class. This can dramatically affect a teacher’s plans. For example, if it’s a review day and the alarm goes off, the teacher may not take another day to review with you and you might be less prepared. Or, when principal Maras has to extend the lunches, it affects the rest of the day.

The fire alarm doesn’t just affect people in the school, it also involves people in the community as well even if there’s not a real fire. Every time the alarm is pulled no matter the reason the fire department has to come out and turn the system off.  So, if there is no fire it could endanger someone with a real emergency. Kaneland covers multiple counties within the district, which means many firetrucks coming to help.  This can be nice, except when there is no fire.  According to The National Protection Association, 3280 people died from fires in 2016. It also stated that the average response time to a call is 23 seconds.  However, according to a news article from WHSV it takes 30 seconds to a minute to shut off an alarm. This does not include the time it takes to get everyone to get outside.

I think that if someone is thinking about pulling the fire alarm when there’s no fire, they should really think before they act. They might get a little a bit of attention but the consequences definitely outweigh the benefits.

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The student news site of Kaneland High School.
Pulling fire alarms is no joke