Lux-Casco Officials Exploring False Fire Alarms At Middle School
2/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
By Bob Dohr
Administrators and custodial staff at the school have looked into it. Firefighters have offered their opinions. It's even been discussed by the Casco Village Board.
What's causing the false fire alarms at Luxemburg-Casco Middle School?
The working theory is wood-burning stoves.
Luxemburg-Casco District Administrator Pat Saunders says there have three such alarms at the school this winter. Saunders says their theory is smoke from wood-burning stoves in the neighborhood is finding its way into the school's HVAC system through the fresh air intakes. He says it's only happened on very cold days when there's a specific northeast wind.
"You can smell wood burners when you're driving by but we don't have any evidence," says Saunders. "All we know is for some reason on very infrequent occasions our smoke detector goes off in one particular area of the building."
He says none of the incidents occurred when classes were in session, although one did disrupt after-school volleyball practice.
Saunders says the local fire department responded to all three alarms.
Saunders says the HVAC system is relatively new; this is the second school year with the new system. He says a mechanical malfunction has been ruled out.
"The system is working as designed and as installed," says Saunders. "That was the first thing we looked at."
Saunders says there are no plans to change their alarm notification system, although he says they'll explore options for solutions, including possibly putting up some sort of deflector by the fresh air intake.