PA announcements mentioning the fire alarm.

Did you used to hate it when you were in school and someone in the office would make an announcement over the PA system mentioning the fire alarm? I did.

OMG YES especially announcing a fire drill, then the anxiety kicks in just with the anticipation of the alarms going off at any given moment.

Depends on the announcement but it used to give me anxiety. Especially when they announced they would be conducting tests. Never understood why they had to do it during the school day.

“we are going to have a fire drill at 9:30…”


idontwannaknow’s entire body goes into emergency lockdown



idontwannaknow actually tries to run out of the room



mission failed

Same here. My heart will start beating real fast and then when the alarm goes off it practically jumpscares me. My principal has been doing these announced fire drills since February; it used to be unannounced; you’d know when we had one when the fire department walked into the school. Now, my principal will come on and be like …“safety is very important to us in our building, blah blah blah… at this time, we will be conducting a regularly scheduled fire drill. We will turn on the alarm in just a moment, folks.” And then 5 seconds later the alarms will go off, and I now nearly jump out of my seat. It’s almost as if the anticipation with the announcement makes it worse then when they were just surprise fire drills.

They would never announce fire drills at my school, which was actually a good thing.



However, our fire alarm system (Simplex 4100) seemed to have a lot of problems for some reason. Whenever it was broken and they had to fix it, they would announce “Please disregard the fire alarm; we are working on the system” or something along those lines while the Simplex guy did whatever he had to do. I can remember those moments making me very anxious because we had TrueAlerts in every classroom (on continuous).

I remember a few times where they announced that we were going to have a fire drill over the PA. This mostly happened in elementary and middle school, with “some” of our drills. I remember a few times in second, third, and fifth, where the principal announced through the intercom that we were going to have a fire drill, and another time in 6th grade before our first fire drill for the year. My district requires the first TWO drills be announced in advance, and the remaining drills be unannounced, but sometimes they would email the teachers. I recall my middle school making announcements before fire drills too, reminding students to take it seriously as well.



I remember a few times where they announced they would be testing the fire alarms, but they never went off, except once in Pre-K at Indian River Elementary School, and twice in 2nd Grade at Spruce Creek Elementary School.

Fire drills were never announced at my schools. The announcements we would get would be “Please disregard the fire alarm if it sounds” for whatever reason.



The only time there was an announcement at my school for a fire drill was this one time after the alarms had already sounded someone got on the PA and said “this is a fire drill.”

Tunxis Community College - We have a rarely-used phone intercom system, but never had a fire drill announced over it before.



Linden Street School - Normally, a fire drill would be announced during morning announcements, though I think we’ve had a few surprises as well. It was sort of anxiety-inducing knowing there was going to be one, but not knowing exactly when. Sometimes, it would be at the end of the day.



Jefferson Elementary School - Fire drills were never announced here, but there was one time where they announced a test, which lasted a few seconds.



Pulaski Middle School - The second to last fire drill was announced through word of mouth. Shortly after the alarm went off, the principal came on over the intercom telling everyone to exit the building. Then the fire department came, because apparently they forgot to notify the alarm company.



HALS Academy - All fire drills were announced using a chime tone over the PA. The year’s first fire drill was announced in advance, but we still had to figure out what the noise meant. The actual fire alarm system was presumably very old, with an interesting combo of Gamewell pre-Century pull stations and Gentex SHG’s, but I never got to see it in action.



Sedgwick Middle School - The first fire drill of the school year was announced moments before by the assistant principal. The rest were all surprises.



Farmington High School - Their policy was similar. The first fire drill of the school year was always announced in the moments before. During the December 1, 2011 incident (two false alarms in one day), they made everyone stay in our classrooms until they got to the bottom of the situation. There was also a time during a summer school class where they were either having maintenance issues or doing some form of testing, and warned us over the PA system to disregard all fire alarms for a period of time. It never went off, which was kind of disappointing.

It happened very rarely in elementary school but because I was so terrified and wouldn’t even go to the bathroom by myself (I thought the Simplex strobes in there were actually horns.) they thought telling me in advanced and getting me out of the building would work. It didn’t because I was anxious up until the moment I was actually OUTSIDE. I believe out of 7 years at Nathanael Greene elementary school, we only had one announcement that we were having a fire drill and that was in sixth grade so we could all get out and do a bus safety exercise.



Middle school tended to be the WORST offender. The first day of seventh grade the principal made an announcement that we had to follow evacuation procedures if the fire alarm went off. This was at the end of the day during last period. My special education teacher in there made a comment that it was usually a hint. I can’t remember how nervous I was because this was the first time I heard a different fire alarm go off (Simplex 4051s). We also had what they would call dismissal fire drills where they set off the alarm to dismiss students. It happened more during eighth grade at Samuel Slater Junior High School.



High school could go in either direction when it came to drills. First day of high school they said they were they were testing the alarms (because they were replacing the panel) and it was nerve wracking but it didn’t go off. A few days later, they said they were continuing with the testing and then at that point the fire alarms (which I had some experience with as they were 9838s) went off briefly. It happened again during lunch but since there was no announcement, I didn’t get nervous. Happened at the end of one of the school days and I was so nervous I refused to go back into the building after dismissal. Bright side is that I made friends with the attendance lady who comforted me. The next year when we started having lockdown drills (as a result of last year’s massacre at Virginia Tech) they pointed out that they would ring the fire alarms and if we heard them to disregard them. Every time we had a lockdown drill I was anxious. Evacuation drills where we had to leave the property were a little worse because the secretary would announce over the PA system “This is an evacuation” three times before the alarms went off. That sums up my experience at William M. Davies Career and Technical High School.

I remember this happening once in the first grade prior to our first fire drill; there were no announcements regarding such drills afterwards. I also remember two instances in the fifth grade where one announcement was for a fire drill (not our first one), and one instance where the fire alarm system was tested extremely briefly (half a second), likely following some sort of system work.



In the sixth grade, our first fire drill was announced over the intercom, and did not involve the use of any fire alarms; subsequent drills afterwards did, however. In the seventh and eight grades, fire drills (along with other emergency drills) were mentioned during morning announcements, explaining in which class periods they would occur (always close to the beginning, no more than 5 minutes). One drill I remember was announced to be happening in 30 seconds.



During high school, fire drills were normally not announced; most of the time, they would just remind teachers to discuss evacuation procedures to students. Teachers usually gave a heads-up regarding drills instead of the PA. There was one instance where the fire alarm system was being tested one day, and it was announced over the intercom system to disregard any activation during the system work. The alarms never did sound, however.



As somebody with Asperger’s Syndrome, I always became anxious for a fire drill, even when I knew one was coming.

In Wal-Mart, the Spectralert classics ceiling mount horn/strobes started to go off in continuous. Most people ran for the exit. Before they could get there, an announcement was made. “Attention, we will be testing our fire alarm system. Please ignore all alarms.” This happened 6 more times within 6 minutes.

My God yes. Our high school has est integrity horns in the classrooms as well as in the halls with a mix of horn strobes as well, ON CONTINUOUS. They never announce fire drills and when they are working on the system, the announcement is said and the anxiety kicks in.

The East Building of my school has sections of 9846s and TrueAlerts on continuous which would be nightmare fuel for me if I was 8th grade or younger. Good thing those classrooms have remote strobes so I don’t have to cover my ears at all when the alarm goes off. I cannot say the same for the other building but they’re ZHs on code 3 so they’re at least tolerable. We only have one fire drill PER YEAR anyways, any others and it’s real/pulled/malfunction.



If my theory of a new Emergency Alert Voice Evac system for both buildings is right, because of junction boxes and holes drilled in the ceiling of both buildings and wrapped amber strobes installed about the school forum, that’s going to be a whole new flavour of fun. :roll: :roll: Can’t wait for next year where they go off due to weather(DOT)com announcing a severe thunderstorm warning for the area. (correct me if I’m wrong because i don’t know how they work).

They would always announce the first fire drill of the year, which scared me for all the years I went to school, except for the last year, since I was the one who did announcements :lol:


I remember once in Kindergarten where we did a Code Yellow (Hazardous Materials) Drill on our way out to recess, we were heading out when the principal announced “We are now under a Code Yellow” so we started making our way back to our classrooms and then the fire alarms went off. I remember plugging my ears the whole time because we had a Wheelock MT-WM set to continuous horn in the kindergarten classroom and it killed my ears (it shut off after about 3 minutes). I remember my teacher mentioning that “its not too bad if you’re at the computers with the headphones on”. Moments later the principal gave the all clear. For all other Hazmat drills I went through they never set off the fire alarms.

Fire drills were never formally announced at any of my schools. The lone exception to that was when I was in first grade at a brand-new school with a new fire alarm system, so the principal announced that we’d be having a fire drill and that the fire alarms would sound different than what most of us were used to (the old school building had bells of some sort I think, while the 2008-built new school had TrueAlerts). Throughout the rest of elementary school, I don’t ever recall hearing about any fire drills, and testing was never done during the school day (except on one occasion in fourth grade following some issues with the system). In middle school, while drills were never announced by administration, our teachers would announce virtually every drill in advance. Even if a teacher didn’t announce a drill, a different teacher would, so everyone would still know about the drill. High school is pretty much the same way, but all of this talk about fire drills just made me remember something pretty interesting that happened my freshman year.

I don’t have any disabilities or a fear of fire alarms, so I had never been evac’d prior to a fire drill before. However, as it turned out our LA teacher my freshman year had a sensitivity to loud noises, so in one instance that year our entire class went outside before the alarms sounded. I thought it was a little weird, but I suppose teachers can have issues with fire alarms too. It was actually a pretty interesting experience, because I saw what happens “behind the scenes” before a fire drill as we left the building. Anyone else ever been evac’d prior to a drill because of a health concern with a teacher or someone other than yourself?

Nope. It was usually just me although my APE teacher in elementary school said there was another kid with crutches who she said she would take out with me in advanced if there was a fire drill but that never happened. Up until this year, the school had an old antiquated elevator which only went to the vestibule outside the cafeteria/gymnasium and the first floor and that elevator room was also the OT/PT room for a few years (which is how I found out there was a 4903+9838 in there). I don’t know if ANYBODY ever used that elevator. I honestly couldn’t tell you anything about it, other than it had a glass swinging outward door with a sash in the middle of it.



Also preparations at my schools for fire drills weren’t really anything big. In elementary school, the principal would key a random pull station. In middle school, I always assumed they activated it from a panel which I never found but it has to either be an old Edwards panel or a Simplex 4207/4208 (alarms were Edwards flush-mount Adaptahorns replaced with Simplex 4051 horns on 4050-80 flashers). High school they always used the panel.





…To the point that they actually had INSTRUCTIONS for how to do a fire drill WRITTEN inside the panel door. :roll:

Few times I had heard it announced:


  • Last day of school in 3rd grade, they had only done 11 of the 12 drills required by New York. They announced they’d be having one to fulfill the requirements shortly after announcements. Nothing like EHS-DL1s on continuous. That system was ripped out the following summer.


  • Three times when I was living in Ohio, they did a tornado drill followed immediately by a fire drill. They said that the fire alarm would indicate the end of the tornado drill.



    That same school in Ohio did fire drills without the alarm on 4 separate occasions, just announcing it over the PA system. This was likely because the school was in the same building as a middle school and high school.

So could the middle and high school not have any drills together?