Real fire alarm stories

1st grade: somebody tripped a stopper II (probably accidentally) and it started ringing. [Redacted by Moderator]



5th grade: one day I was doing math in my 5th grade classroom and the fire alarm suddenly went off and we evacuated. I later found out that a sprinkler pipe in the one of the 2 gyms froze and it was building up pressure and eventually do to all the pressure stored in the pipe bursted and the gymnasium floor got ruined and flooded. However, due to the sprinkler system being still active, the school could not reset the system, so as a result, they had to silence the system and keep the strobes flashing until the sprinkler condition was normal. So all day, the strobes flashed across the building, however, the outdoor alarms (MT-24-WM) are non-silence able so they continued to sound in continuous. The principal later made a statement on the intercom giving teachers permission from the fire Marshall to cover the strobes with paper. This is one of the craziest fire alarm events that have happened to me.



8th grade: during the 2nd semester of my 8th grade year, various students thought it would be nice to pull the fire alarm and set the alarm off to pass the time. The fire alarms rang and rang throughout a span of 3 months. The alarms would go off once or twice every two weeks. This really bothered my, to the point where I made a suggestion to the principal. I told him that there was a product called the stopper II and I told him that they were installed at my primary school, and he said that was a good idea, so he later told maintenance, which installed stoppers in various locations, which surprisingly worked to reduce the false alarms.

I remember once in Kindergarten over at Edgewater Public Elementary where we had a system malfunction causing the alarms to sound a couple of minutes before dismissal, we had to go back to our fire drill areas a number of times after the alarms resounded. I remember the next day during the school’s carnival the alarms were still going off (at the time they had Wheelock MT-WM horn/strobes and RSS strobes, and Simplex 2901-9833 horns on 2903 strobe plates, with ESL 103-01 pulls in the main building, and FCI MS-2s in the other building where they had the 2901-9833+2903s, that system has since been replaced).



In third grade, we had a malfunction of some sort on two separate days, the first day it went off during our art class (Faraday 5640+5415) in the morning, the second day it went off during a end of 9-weeks “Reading Celebration” our third grade classes did. We were probably out there the second time for about 10-15 minutes before the all-clear bell was sounded. Once we got back in our principal came on the intercom and said “those were very good fire drills we had, even though we were having problems with the alarms…”

That sounds quite absurd.

There are some typos that I forgot to fix.

While I was gaining work experience through Goodwill Industries, we went to a Saver’s during a thunderstorm and the alarms ended up going off. They were Wheelock AS’s in code-3.

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I’m so lucky that none of the hotels I ever stayed in had their alarms go off late at night. LOL

None of mine are super interesting, but I might as well share 'em. In first grade, there was an electrical fire caused by a malfunctioning fluorescent light in the cafeteria at about six in the morning. By the time I got to school maybe an hour later, the fire was out, but the fire alarms (TrueAlerts) were still going off and the fire department was still on the scene. Despite that excitement, there wasn’t any real damage to the building, and school started on time.



My other “real fire” story actually just occured about two weeks ago, and you’ll know about it if you follow me on Instagram. My high school is having the HVAC and ceiling replaced in one wing, so there’s been pretty heavy ongoing construction since late May. Anyways, a temporary fan (above the ceiling) that was left on after the workers had left somehow managed to catch fire, and took the ceiling with it. As I recall, two classrooms and a hallway had direct fire damage, while much of the wing suffered smoke damage. The fire was actually bad enough that the entire building was closed for four days while the “bad air” was being circulated out of the building and so that the damaged items could be removed. There’s still some cleanup work that’s been ongoing for the past two weeks, but at this point the majority of the work has shifted back to the construction. The downside to this is that there’s pretty much no way that the HVAC is gonna be done by the time I head back to school in about four weeks, so I’ll probably have some classes in rooms that don’t have (complete) ceilings :lol: . And of course now I realize that I forgot to mention that because of the construction, the fire alarms and sprinklers were disconnected, so as far as I know the fire was only reported when someone saw flames shooting out of the school :lol: .



I’ve also had a few real fires and close encounters at home, but they’ve never resulted in any damage and they don’t have anything to do with fire alarms themselves, so I won’t share them.

Why would you disconnect a fire safety system when you are trying to renovate a school? I would think that because of renovations, the possibility of a fire breaking out would be high due to stuff being exposed and equipment getting used in close-quarters.


That’s what I would’ve thought too, but as luck would have it the day of the fire was actually the day that some fire sprinklers were being removed to install new HVAC stuff, so they had to disconnect the sprinklers. As for the fire alarms, I don’t think the entire system was disconnected, but the smoke detectors obviously had to be removed when the ceiling was removed (and the ones that remain have dust covers on them), so there was really no way that the system would have automatically activated.

In 4th grade, we did a fire drill and successfully evacuated, the only problem being that either they only silenced the alarms, or they didn’t know how to restart the system, so the Simplex TrueAlert strobes flashed throughout the whole day. Unlike RSSAlarms story, they didn’t cover the strobes with paper, so we had to go to every class.



Sophomore Year was a fun year for the Siemens FireFinder system which would nonstop go off twice a week for a whole month and a half. I never experienced any of these fire alarms (Siemens ZHs) except for the triple security drill on the second day of school. It got so bad that the alarms went off BEFORE MY BUS ARRIVED TO THE SCHOOL! :lol: :lol: Yea somehow it got fixed.



Not very eventful and the only time there’s been an actual fire was in Freshman Year during the fitness festival for the gym classes to prepare for Spring Fling (mini games/slide fair in the field house) and the -9846s started screaming before I got the chance to do the obstacle course race. Me and this other kid were the first ones to go, so they just let us do it and then we got outside. Very disappointing.

Wasn’t that last one rather recent?

Yea, I’m gonna be a Junior in a few days.

I felt like that was last year you posted that story though when you were a sophomore. XD

Heh… turns out my “real fire” story from a few weeks ago isn’t quite over yet. Turns out, the initial report was waaaayyyy off on the damage to my school. The fire and smoke damaged at least 40 classrooms, plus the library and pretty much destroyed the LA, ELA and social studies wings. Anyways, today it came out that much of the building won’t be safe for occupancy until at least October, so my district has decided to implement an every-other day schedule for the month of September. Essentially, what that means is that when school starts, I’ll only be going every other day, while during my off day I’ll be doing schoolwork online. Because my school normally operates on a six-day schedule, the current plan is to have freshman and sophomores go on odd days (1,3,5), and juniors and seniors on even days (2,4,6). Basically, for at least the first four to five weeks of the school year (a full timeline isn’t in place yet) I’ll only be in school for 2-3 days per week. This is gonna be pretty interesting, because as I mentioned above nearly half of my school is pretty much destroyed, so there’s gonna be pretty heavy construction going on for at least the next two or three months. Also, because the damaged wing is right in the middle of the school, we’ll probably be utilizing temporary corridors to get from the gymnasium/cafeteria to the undamaged classrooms. Even once the damaged wing is legally occupiable, a new HVAC system still has to be installed, so it’s likely that there will be substantial work on my school through at least November or December. The goal is to be back to the normal five days/week six-day schedule by the first week of October. It’s definitely gonna be an interesting school year.

November 2009:

I think was in math class, around 1:30 PM, when (cue this clip) the fire alarm suddenly went off. (it’s a Simplex 4100 system with TrueAlert speaker/strobes.)

Everyone went outside as usual and met up in the ballfields outside.

Around 2 minutes later, the Fire Dept. showed up, which meant that this was definitely NOT a drill.

The Fire Dept. went in to the mechanical room and spent 20 minutes checking things. They also looked at the gas meter. (which is right next to an exit from that mechanical room)

We were finally able to go back in after around 30 minutes total.

Once I got home, I saw the email that explained what happened: there was a gas leak. A kid threw a ball into the bushes behind the gas meter. When he tried to retrieve the ball, he struck his head on the gas meter and caused the leak. Someone then noticed the gas smell and pulled the fire alarm.

A week later, they put a fence around the gas meter.

I would have thought that they would have been more careful with an outdoor gas meter and put an enclosure around it to begin with.

I know this is a major bump, but since I’m the Original Poster, there are exceptions. In 5th grade, the local library was hosting a science demonstration in the schools library using a fog machine. They brought over Air vortex cannons and homemade ones using a trash bags and brute trash cans. It was amusing what they were doing, but I also noticed that they shot the fog close to the duct detectors in the library ceilings, I even saw one of the fog rings go inside the vent.



About 30 minutes after we left the library and we were in class, the fire alarm rang and we all evacuated like usual. Later, we saw some firemen talking to the librarians from the public library about what they did, and told them how they set off the alarm system. This was probably the last time they did that in the school because of that.

Bump again just like RSS, but I believe I’ve only ever been through one actual fire alarm activation. It was at the elementary school I used to go to. (I now do all my schoolwork online) I won’t name it, (even though we no longer live where it is) but it had Spectralert Classics and I’m ASSUMING a Simplex system, don’t remember very clearly, maybe one of these days I’ll go back and see if that same system is still there.



Now, we had fire drills all the time as you’d expect, (and that are of course required by law) but this one was different: the alarms went off unexpectedly I believe in the middle of class, and so of course we evacuate as you’d expect. Don’t remember too much else since this happened well over 10 years ago, but I do recall that the fire started in the cafeteria. If I’m not mistaken one of the staff in the cafeteria was heating up a bag of microwave popcorn. They ended up leaving it in for too long which caused it to start smoking. Whether the fire alarm system was tripped automatically or not I have no idea.

This topic is old, don’t bump it again!