Fire alarm prompts student evacuation for fourth time this semester

Evacuation takes place amidst unhealthy air quality

By Aishwarya Jayadeep

Photo by Brandon Welty
Students were evacuated in the smoke-filled air that was a result of Northern California’s wildfires.

A fire alarm pulled by a student resulted in the evacuation of the school this afternoon, Principal Greg Giglio said.

The incident was the fourth instance of a false alarm this year.

“It is recurring,” Giglio said. “Officially, what we will do is we will continue to supervise and circulate.”

What stood out to Giglio, however, was that today’s alarm took place in the midst of smoke in the Bay Area due to wildfires in Northern California, he said.

According to AirNow, the air quality at 2 p.m., around the time of the alarm, was unhealthy, with an air quality index of 178 compared to the “good” 0 to 50 range.

“Someone thought it would be funny to have everyone go out in the smoke,” Giglio said. “Considering there are people who have asthma and things like that — including staff members — it’s not a good idea.”

However, the school cannot make fire alarms any harder to access to counteract false alarms, Giglio said, as they must be available for quick use in the event of a real fire.

The long-term effects of repeated false alarms are also a concern, Giglio said.

“People are starting to treat these as, ‘oh, there’s an alarm going off, is it even real?’ They start goofing off,” Giglio said. “If it’s a real fire, you gotta go … time matters.”