Sprinkler activates fire alarm during lunch


Nicholas Kania

This shows how students had to evacuate through the entrance near the commons. Many were confused about why there was smoke rising up from the chimney.

On Jan. 8, a pipe burst in the commons which set off the fire alarm. This resulted in the students evacuating the building, ultimately leading to an early dismissal because the school couldn’t serve lunch.

Just before noon, the fire alarm went off, and students went to their designated evacuation locations in the case of a fire.  Turns out, it was a false alarm. This begs the question: how prepared is LHS for emergencies?

 “It is tough to prevent these types of emergencies because it is difficult to tell when a part is going to wear out or go bad. Our building and grounds staff checks to make sure we have as few issues as possible,” said principal Mr. Michaelson.

People were baffled on exactly what happened with the fire. “The issue was with a faulty sprinkler head. Once that issue started, the water continued to flow into the kitchen from the pipes. The sprinklers are programmed to the fire alarm. When sprinklers are in use, fire alarms go off and cannot be shut down until the sprinkler is fixed. This is for safety purposes,” said Michaelson.

While the students and staff evacuated the building, the fire department dealt with the sprinkler. All the students and staff who evacuated were unaware of what happened until it was later explained.

Regarding the early dismissal, it was announced that at 12:50 p.m. that students would be allowed to leave the building because lunch could not be served to anyone. Buses arrived several minutes after. The law is that all students must be legally served lunch before 1 p.m.

The whole predicament was full of mixed feelings. People were both happy and irritated due to not being able to finish school as students were released early and the staff was trying to clear the water and fix the pipe.