School Shooting

So, another school shooting today and the fire alarm was pulled. This time, it doesn’t appear that the killer pulled it but rather a student running out. Hopefully, this didn’t add to the casualties. When are we going to get codes and laws changed?? I believe it’s time for pull stations in schools to be delayed pending verification. In law enforcement, regardless of how mad it makes the fire marshals, we are teaching schools to ignore the fire alarm until it’s been confirmed, especially when gunshots are being heard.

Maybe a technician should remove all the pull stations from schools that have smoke or heat detectors throughout. Pull stations are just remains from a time before automatic detection devices were common and the fire alarm had to be manually activated.

Gotta get the AHJs on board and that’s a tough task. They haven’t caught up to the security threat yet. That’s why they have a stroke when law enforcement tells schools to ignore the fire alarm in most cases.



I am involved in security at my kid’s private school, and this summer I have Simplex coming in to reprogram our 4100es. It will include lockdown messages activated by panic buttons in the offices and on the playground. It will notify monitoring for police response, as well as send text messages via the Safelinc card to staff. It’s my understanding that the panel will ignore and override pull stations during a lockdown activation.


May want to add some MNS strobes too?

As of now, they aren’t doing that. It will just be audible.

It has been recommended that schools be locked when school is in session for safety. This can be difficult however for the many schools that consist of multiple buildings.

Guess what they use to lock those doors most of the time? Magnets. Guess what unlocks those magnetic locks? Fire alarms. So let’s say you have a barrier door just inside the main door and a pull station next to the main door… Electric strikes don’t have to release with the fire alarm, but they aren’t always used. It’s a vicious battle between fire safety and security.

I think it would make sense if they locked all the doors and if there were pull stations outside of the school to remove them so that nobody could pull them to unlock the door. I don’t know why most schools don’t have their doors locked during school anyway because I know my elementary and my middle school did. For my high school it was understandable that they didn’t since there are two other buildings but after Virginia Tech, they put door alarms on MOST of the doors.

<LINK_TEXT text=“https://www.statesman.com/news/santa-hi … FVB03invM/”>https://www.statesman.com/news/santa-high-school-student-says-teacher-pulled-fire-alarm-get-students-safety-during-shooting/LeVIY4iqyxRKWFVB03invM/</LINK_TEXT>

Then that is a doubly huge reason why there should only be smoke and heat detectors within the school so there are no false alarms by pulling and killers getting ready to gun people down can’t pull it to make their victims come out into the open.

Maybe schools should have bluepoint police pulls instead of fire pulls. That way if it is pulled it will give a lockdown message not an evacuation signal.

why bluepoint? any FA system can take a lockdown pullstation and initiate a lockdown sequence. leverage a life safety system already in place.

Doesn’t have to be bluepoint. But lockdown pulls in schools would be better than the fire pulls that are currently common in schools. When a lockdown pull is pulled it gives a lockdown message instead of giving an evacuation signal. In the modern days of automatic detection with smokes and heats, fire pulls just are not needed.

You can set off a smoke/heat detector if you are malicious - use a magnet and set it off. Or, if there’s no magtest or external test option, get enough of a cloud of something (a vape would be an easy way) and use it to interrupt the photo beam, and bam - alarm goes off. Now, it’s not nearly as easy as a pull station, but to a certain extent there’s an exponential curve of effectiveness. Once you hit a certain point, massive upticks in change may result in not that much more security. Where this exists with fire alarm systems, I don’t know.

I think the they should keep pull stations because you never know when a real fire could break out. However I think there needs to be some sort of delayed activation before the entire system goes into alarm. For example, when someone pulls the fire alarm someone should be near the fire panel monitoring or at least keeping a close eye on the system status. When a pull station is pulled in an area of the building, the panel should go into a pre-alarm stage that lasts maybe 2 or 3 min. Durring that 2 or 3 min the person monitoring the panel should go and investigate the area to see if there is actually a fire. Another thing they could do is have 2 stage systems. These were common back in the days in malls and large areas. Basically what happens is that when a pull station is activated the system will do short bursts of the fire alarm. Durring that time a person would be sent to investigate the cause of the alarm if it was false they could turn it of via a remote silencing key switch. If it’s real the pull stations would be equipped with a key switch on the inside of the pull and when activated the system goes into full alarm. Also works if one device is already activated and say a smoke or heat goes of after then the panel goes into full evacuation. Another thing they could do is with voice system have the message specifically say “Please stand by for further instructions”. That way no one evacuates until the system is overided into full evac.

I never heard the fire alarm was pulled.

This is getting quite ridiculous. It’s almost like fire alarm systems are school shooters toys. That’s why people who photograph fire alarm devices get such a bad rap, I got questioned by building police the other day and I help test that system. The lockdown buttons are a fantastic idea, and I feel like students need to be educated on ignoring the fire alarm when a shooting is occuring. And while escaping, do NOT pull the fire alarm. This will just add do the chaos and may cause more casualties. This needs to become a nationally recognized issue.



BTW, has anyone read the twitter posts made by the Parkland survivors on that shooting? A lot of things about politicians acting like they give a ****. I really hope this never happens to anyone near me. This needs to be stopped. And if it did happen at my school where I am employed, i’d get on the PA system and tell everyone to ignore the fire alarm. Even though it’s an EST genesis system :roll: and it’s annoying :roll: :roll: we STILL need to ignore it. This is an issue.

There are provisions in NFPA 72 for delayed notification fire alarm systems. There are pre-signal, positive alarm sequence, and alarm verification for smoke detectors. Pre-signal and positive alarm sequence have specific provisions for having a signal in a constantly attended location and qualified personnel to investigate. Many AHJs don’t like delayed signals but it might be time to take a second look at these code provisions given shooter’s use of fire alarm systems to fill a corridor with targets.



Links to some articles.

<LINK_TEXT text=“https://www.ecmag.com/section/systems/p … tification”>Purposefully Delayed Fire Alarm Notification - Electrical Contractor Magazine</LINK_TEXT>



<LINK_TEXT text=“Dropbox - Error … e.pdf?dl=0”>Dropbox - Pre-Signal & Positive Alarm Sequence.pdf - Simplify your life</LINK_TEXT>

I still feel though that at every entrance point except the main office, there should be metal detectors that go off if somebody comes in with a gun. And lock all doors and only let people in if they say they are students and can prove it.

I really don’t want schools to become more prisonlike than they already are. Doing away with pull stations? Metal detectors? Armed guards? There are other ways of preventing mass shootings than ruining things for everyone else.



I was a loner in high school. I’m sure many of us were. True or false: Many of the people running the place did everything in their power to make things worse for us.

I wonder if any schools have considered activating the fire alarm during some of their lockdown drills while teaching the students to ignore it during the drill.