School Fire Drill - 5/1/2002
MS_Pull MS_Fire_Bell_Modified HS_Fire_Bell_Modified Simplex_FACP

For enlarged pictures, see system components

It all started on the morning of May 1, 2002. I was in the 8th grade. I was in homeroom and my mom was working that
day. She came into my homeroom asking my teacher if she could see me for a moment. So I followed her out the door. She told me that there was going to be a fire drill today and the Asst. Principal wanted to see me for a moment. We went into the office and he asked me if I wanted to be there when they set off the alarm. So I accepted. He told me the fire drill would be at 1:15 PM.

All day I couldn't wait until 1:15. I was in my 7th period when the Asst. Principal came and got me and he told me that I was going to hang out with the principal for a little while. Before the fire drill he took me through all the procedures that they have to do before a fire drill. First they have to call the alarm company so when the alarm goes off, the emergency vehicles won't come. Next they take a key out of the cabinet that goes to the pull station as well as the alarm panel. After that we went out into the lobby to a pull station. I then learned you don't pull the station. You put the key in the lock and turn it a half turn to the left. Then the whole front of the station will drop forward and the alarm will go off (and that is also how you reset the station after it is pulled). Once we got the go ahead, I put the key in the lock and turned it to the left. Before it dropped, I plugged my ears because of the noise, and then I let it drop and the alarm started to sound and let the fire drill begin!

Once the alarm went off I heard yelling in the auditorium. Three boys came out puzzled and I shooed them out the exit. Then the kids from the 500 corridor started filing out the building. I just kept looking at the people evacuating, the alarm panel (which was a Simplex 4002 panel), as well as the flashing strobe light(s).

Once everyone had evacuated we went over to the alarm panel (FACP) and opened it. The zone where the alarm had originated from was flashing in RED. I knew just what to do. I pushed "Alarm Silence". That silenced the fire alarm signals and made the flashing red LED stay on steady. Then I pushed "System Reset". The trouble buzzer sounded for 2 seconds and all the lights (LEDs) on the panel it up for 5 seconds. Once they all went out besides the power led, one was still lit. It said "System Trouble". I thought to myself, "Did I do something wrong?" But I recalled, if system trouble would be lit then an additional LED would be lit as well. After another three seconds it went out and we closed the panel door. Now we can give the "all-clear" and let the people back in. I just had to put the key back and go back to class.

Later after school I thanked the Asst. Principal for letting me set off the alarm. He said your welcome and that I could do it again because they had to have 2 or 3 more fire drills that year. I said cool and I couldn't wait until next time! Unfortunately I never got the chance to set it off again that year, but I did get to set it off again for the 4th drill in my Freshman year, as well as for the 6th (and final) drill in my Senior year in High School.

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