False fire alarms force MVHS students and staff to evacuate

Two consecutive false fire alarms disrupt school on March 22 and 23


Eric Zhou

MVHS students wait at the main entrance for the administrators to give the all-clear signal. Photo | Eric Zhou

Eric Zhou

Two false fire alarms went off while school was in session on March 22 and 23 respectively. MVHS students and staff first evacuated the school on March 22 during lunch after a fire alarm was pulled in the main gym. During first period on March 23, particles created by an electrical contractor working at MVHS triggered another false alarm.

No fire was detected on either day, but Principal Ben Clausnitzer stresses that consequences of intentionally pulling a false alarm include suspension, expulsion and punishments from law enforcement since pulling a false alarm is against the law. Clausnitzer also says there is a possibility of people being injured from hurrying to exit the school or from first responders speeding toward MVHS. MVHS staff are relying on security cameras and the willingness of the community to speak up in their search for the individual who pulled the alarm.

Clausnitzer says MVHS is also working on finding solutions to prevent future occurrences of false fire alarms triggered by particles from an electrician. Clausnitzer suggests covering fire alarm sensors while electricians are working and taking the covers off when the work is completed. 

“We’re trying to figure out what occurred so that we can talk about how to mitigate that,” Clausnitzer said regarding the first alarm. “If it were somebody who thought it was a prank, people [need] to understand the seriousness of such an action goes well beyond a prank.”