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REXBURG – It’s a re-occurring problem for the fire alarm to go off at Madison Middle School.
“It’s usually a false fire alarm, but we come out and treat it like the real thing each and every time,” said Madison Fire Department Captain Troyce Miskin.
Because of a state mandated transition from an old alarm system, to one that is hooked up to the Fire Department, the alarms keep going off. If you averaged how many times the Fire Department has responded to this school alone in 2009, it would be once a week. Previously, the school staff would just turn the alarm off themselves.
The source of Monday Morning’s false alarm? A faulty smoke detector, which was covered in dust.
“We respond to the middle school on a regular basis, so they need to work and figure out why everything keeps activating and alarming,” said Madison Fire Department Duty Chief Mike Walker.
“We check to make sure there’s no smoke in the building, no fire, then we check to see if there’s dust on the detector, which you need to clean off on a regular basis,” said Walker.
“It could be anything from a faulty sensor in the system, to a water flow device, it’s a myriad of different things. It’s an ongoing piece by piece deal,” said Miskin.
I spoke with the School District’s Maintenance Manager Rus Wilson about the problem, and he told me, quote, “it’s just a maintenance issue. As we ID a bad detector we replace it.”
Mary Barney was at the school when the alarm went off.
“I was in the bathroom scrubbing down our toilets haha… We just had to get out, we knew we had to get out,” said Mary Barney.
“Have you been in the building when it has gone off before?” I asked.
“A lot. It went off 3 times in one night two weeks ago,” said Barney.
“It’s not usually because of students, it’s usually something in the system. I know the School District is working hard to get the problem fixed,” said Miskin.
The Fire Department has considered implementing a fine for every time they have to respond to a false fire alarm. However, as long as the School District is working on the problem, according to Mike Walker they won’t fine the school.
In the mean time the Fire Department will just have a lot of practice responding to fire alarms at Madison Middle School.
The Fire Department also told Eyewitness News that they used to have the same problem with Legacy Ridge, but that problem has since been resolved.