This year, Martinsville High School changed its requirements for their fire drill. In the past, the fire alarm would go off, and each class would immediately exit the building orderly. It has not gone away entirely but has improved in many ways. MHS has gotten a new drill to keep everyone safe and ensure it was not a false alarm.
The new drill will help keep our school safer by allowing time to investigate if the alarm is a real threat. Teachers will use their senses to decide whether or not there is an actual fire. If they do not sense a fire, they will stay put until an announcement about whether or not to evacuate the building. By law, they have three minutes to decide. If false and there is no threat, everyone will stay in their classroom and continue learning. If it is an actual alarm, everyone will evacuate as normal.
The fire drill will help avoid unnecessary evacuations so that students can keep learning. It will help with the safety of the school because, according to assistant principal Ryan Wagner, “in the past, students have used fire drills or fire alarms as opportunities to cause damage to things or hurt people.” By having this time to investigate, everyone will know what is happening and can react accordingly.
Since students and teachers have been doing the old drill for many years, there will be a learning period like anything new. However, as the monthly drills continue, everything should go smoothly and efficiently.