Burning Up Our Patience

Impromptu Fire Drills


During a fire drill all teachers are required to bring the emergency bag. The bag contains bandaids, class rosters, and the emergency cards.

Olivia Moody, Newspaper Editor

Over the past few weeks, North Polk High School has kept its students on their toes. The high school has had frequent, unscheduled fire drills due to complications within the school kitchen and in construction zones. 

While the construction at the high school is one of the main reasons for the fire drills, the school kitchen has had some issues as well. 

Vice principal Rob Sinclair explains the issue, “Humidity from the washer in the kitchen, the smoke detector right outside, where you put your plates in, we would open those doors and mist would come out.”

The mist from the kitchen was setting off the fire alarm and causing the entire high school to evacuate the building. 

The cause of the mist from the kitchen turned out to be a vent within the kitchen that was not completely opened. The school is currently working on purchasing a new vent to fix the problem. 

As said above, the construction for the new wing in the high school has also been a contributing factor to the onslaught of alarms. 

The construction workers needed to make sure that the alarms in the new addition were working, which led to more drills.  “I think we’re setting the world record on fire drills,” notes Sinclair. 

According to Iowa law, it is required of the school to have two fire drills each semester. Although none of the fire drills that have occurred were scheduled, they can still count as practice. 

Sinclair also noted that the school does not have to enact the school wide drill when there is no true fire threat. The school has actually contacted the business Permar, which works with local fire departments and law enforcement to make sure the alarms are all working, to disregard any alarms that occur. 

The biggest concern that the school has is not fires, but loss in learning. Students and teachers alike are frustrated with the loss in in class instruction. 

Student Abby Vorsten responds to the drills saying ,“I think that we have gotten a lot of experience in fire drills, but at the same time it’s a little too much. People think it’s always fake, if there is actually a fire, I think there would be some people sitting in their chairs waiting for it to go off, but then it never does.” 

Freshman Lincoln Jaschke looks at it in a more positive light, “They go off at different times a day, which means different classes, so you know all the ways to get out.”

Whether the students and staff viewed it as a nuisance, or a way to get out of class, there is no denying that the students are a lot more efficient when it comes to fire drills.