"if the fire alarm goes off, please disregard"

Did you always used to hate it when you were in class and such an announcement would come on over the intercom?

I remember during my 5th grade year at Cass, an announcement was made informing us to ignore the fire alarm as it was being tested. In case any of you forgot, my 5th grade classroom had a horn/strobe inside; the test lasted less then a second, but was enough to make me break down in tears (I was much more afraid of fire alarms than now) :frowning: .

While I have been terrified of fire alarms going off, I don’t remember them ever making me cry.

Nope, never hated announcements except for the one made breaking the news to us on September 11.

Hehe, at my HS, they didn’t even tell anyone! Although with the exception of one time, it never went off.

Simplex was cleaning and testing the smoke detectors on the Simplex system. My uncle who was a custodian told me about it, since the school doesn’t tell anyone else except the administration. Well, just before one of my classes started, I was in class writing down an assignment and the principal was in the room observing, and my teacher came in and got his attention and told him “There’s a fire alarm going off.” Listening closely, I could hear the EST system going off. Of course the principal told him they were working on the system, but that didn’t stop people from beginning evacuation process, since no one else knew it was just testing, so the principal ran out into the hall to stop people from leaving and only THEN did they come on the PA telling people not to leave and to disregard the alarms. Apparently Simplex forgot that the 4002 trips the EST 3 in via aux relays, so while they disabled everything signal-wise on the 4002, they didn’t touch the EST 3. After this mini-fiasco they did disconnect the connections between the two panels until the testing was complete.

At our HS, they had a few of those announcements when we had the old panel (a really old Gamewell that put out AC voltage to the signals, which, as I’ve mentioned before, are Standard 60As, like the Auth horn 7002T has). Back in WSVH, when they had their old panel, there were several announcements. They’d go:

[quote] May I have your attention please. The maintenance men are working on the fire alarm so if it goes off, it's just a test. [/quote]

WSVH also has weekly fire alarm tests, Monday morning at around 8 or so. They’d come over the intercom and say

[quote] May I have your attention, please. When you hear the fire alarm this morning it is just a test. The fire alarm is a test. Thank You. [/quote]

A few minutes later the 4040s (old system, there were also muffled bells in the high school area, a few FIRE HORNs, one in the music building, connected to a different panel) or -9833s on 2903 light plates (next system, from around '85 to some recent time, I learned they were replaced from a post in a WSVH students and Alumni group on FB) would fire off.

it was never really a big deal for me. none of the grade schools in my area have fire alarms in the classrooms.

I was quite scared of the alarms at school as a kid…even the 700T2s we had from 4th-5th grade, and you know how quiet those are. I was always the only kid who would be holding her ears when they went off. I would dread having to walk past them to exit the building when they were sounding.

During the school year where I go, two, possibly four false alarms were triggered over a period from September-February. It all began one year ago after an actual fire occurred at Stevenson during the morning (before school started). Fortunately, it was an isolated event and there was no permanent damage from the incident, but later in the day, my social worker came over and told me the fire alarm panel was being worked on and rewired in connection with the fire, in order to make the system more efficient. I found out that the panel would have to be reset if this happened, which would set off the system. And it did happen at 12:40 later in the day, which led to an evacuation of the building.

As this is an ongoing process, Stevenson does not make announcements about fire alarm tests, as the rewiring of the panel or other system test usually takes a long amount of time.

I was never afraid of the fire alarms myself, I actually enjoyed them because they let us spend some time outside instead of sitting inside. And plus I always thought the 7002t’s skip sounded cool.

I was more afraid of alarms in grades 1-6 (with very loud Vibratone 450s, older-style, combined with several jack-@$$ teachers that did not understand about special-needs/Asperger’s/autism at the time, helped fuel it), and in high school (with those awful Simplex 4040 horns run off a crappy old FCI FC-72 panel). The worst was probably that time the alarms went off during lunch in my high school sophomore year, I was a total wreck and was made fun of by a third of the entire student population that day! And I almost got suspended for my disruptive meltdown!
I was also afraid of school bells, especially in kindergarten (with all those 6-inch Simplex bells everywhere), and not as much in junior high (except for one time the bell went off early when I was in the cafeteria and I nearly wet my pants!) The school I went to for grades 1-6 had no bells or any class-change signaling, and my high school used a tone over the intercom.

I’m much less fearful, thankfully. I think it was from reading up on how fire alarm systems work, and how not ALL of them sound the same (I learned this when I found out several of the alarms at Massasoit College were electronic, not electromechanical or vibratory.) But I still do get nervous when I find out they will be going off in advance, unless it’s voice-evacuation, then that’s not a problem at all (I can honestly say the Simplex 4100U voice-evac system at the middle school near my house is the quietest fire alarm I’ve ever heard in my life!)
I also am still somewhat fearful of school bells, unless I know what time they are supposed to go off. A loud unexpected ringing, even on a TV commercial (especially around August) can still be enough to frighten me. I even recommended to the current principal of the K-8 school I had kindergarten at a plan on how to reduce the volume of the bell system a bit (i.e. muffling bells in smaller areas, disconnecting one or two bells in larger areas with more than two bells installed, and yes there were a few of them in this building!) and she thought it was a wonderful idea. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go along with this some time in the future (they did at my junior high school, even before I started going there!) And even the sounds of scoreboard buzzers or loud PA feedback can still bother me!

But back on topic. I only heard this announcement a couple of times during the regular school years, during my high school sophomore year, after that mentioned fire alarm incident, they tried repairing the panel. The first time, it did go off a few times (but luckily I had ear protection on!) and the second time, it did not go off at all.
During a few summer programs though, we had to deal with this during the schools’ annual fire alarm inspections. One year (summer of 1999, at the school I went to for grades 1-6) they tested the alarms on the same day we had our big parents’ event, and halfway into it they had to cancel the event and send the parents home or back to work! Summer of 2000 was different (before I began junior high). My brother and I got scared initially when we were notified they’d be testing the alarm system there that day, and we knew how loud the alarms were (Simplex 4051 horns on 4050-80 light plates), so the guidance counselor there let us watch how the technicians test the system; they did a “walk test,” and they went and tested each pull station and each test station for the duct detectors (which were added some time in the 1990s, after the school was built). That helped quite a bit, and somewhat jump-started my fire alarm interest.

The good ol’ late 1990s.