False Fire Evacuations are Taking Over Leesville


As Leesville Road High School begins its 2022-2023 school year, Leesville’s newly installed and highly sensitive smoke detectors have caused numerous false fire evacuations.

“There’s been a fire reported in the building, please evacuate to the nearest exit,” said the overhead fire alarm system on a loop over and over at Leesville this past week when the fire alarm went off five times. There haven’t actually been five  fires, but rather, incidents in the bathroom that have triggered the smoke detectors. 

This summer, Leesville installed an upgraded fire alarm system with new sensors and sound systems. The new system allows faculty to pinpoint where the system was tripped. The faculty uses the camera system to determine who was around the site where the system was triggered.

Since the new system is so advanced, Leesville faculty can complete their investigation of who is responsible for setting off the alarms. So far, the culprit for each fire alarm incident was discovered and punished. 

Ian Solomon, the principal at Leesville, sent an email to the parents of Leesville students on September 1. Solomon said the cause of the alarms are, “students vaping in the restroom.” 

To prevent further false fire alarms, there is an immediate 10-day suspension for whoever is found responsible for setting off the alarm. “Students who are responsible and identified will be disciplined to the maximum extent possible, up to long term suspension,” wrote Ian Soloman via email.

 “I think when we apply appropriate consequences, it will definitely help limit the problem,” said Brandon Kelley, an Assistant Principal at Leesville. 

According to Solomon, vaping has not and will not be tolerated at Leesville. His intention in the email was to spread awareness regarding the problem and its consequences in hopes that it will not persist.

For AP students, these fire evacuations are very inconvenient. Ashton Layh, a junior at Leesville, is in AP Language, AP Calculus, and AP US History. Not only were her teachers frustrated with the many disruptions to class, but it was also difficult for her to keep up with the content in each class.

“Since the classes move so fast, we would lose class time to the fire evacuations, and it would be hard to finish homework,” said Layh. These disruptions aren’t only inconvenient for teachers, but also for students who need the maximum amount of class time for specific courses.

“Time lost out of the classroom is time we can’t get back,” said Kelley. 

Kelley believes that the solution to last week’s problem is on the horizon. “I think we’re all in agreement that we can’t continue these fire alarms,” said Kelley. The solution to this problem is not a fire alarm system fix, but rather a change in students’ behavior.

Since September 2, there hasn’t been a false fire alarm, so hopefully the administrators’ efforts actually have made an impact on students’ behavioral decisions on campus.


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