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November 22, 2019 - Timeline for Fire Alarm System Issues

Monday, November 11: During a fire drill, it was reported that a fire alarm in a section of the building did not sound. The school staff put in work orders to request repair(s) of the fire alarm. An electrical contractor came out the same day and assessed the condition of the fire alarm system and the company analyzed the issue and was tasked with submitting a report.

Thursday, November 14: A poster was set on fire. Although this small fire was quickly extinguished, the fire department was called to check the school’s fire alarm that did not automatically go off. ACPS requested a fire alarm inspector review, as this was the second time that the fire alarm system has not operated as expected. The inspector came out to George Washington Middle School on Friday, November 15. 

Monday, November 18: The fire alarm inspection company’s report was received by ACPS. They recommend that ACPS verify the program settings for the system.

The same day, the alarm system itself went off in the front office. This was the “Intrusion Alarm” which signals when someone opens an emergency door. The original electrical company that came out to the school on Monday, November 11 came back out to George Washington and reset the alarm. 

Tuesday, November 19: ACPS contacted vendors and coordinated with the Fire Marshal. ACPS also contacted a fire and life-safety consultant.

Thursday, November 21: The school was evacuated due to a new rooftop unit that was releasing a nontoxic gas smell. The fire alarm did not fully function as it should have.

ACPS confirmed the recommendations from the Fire Marshal and scheduled the fire alarm system electrician to come out to test and repair the system on Saturday, November 23. 

Friday, November 22: ACPS worked with the Fire Marshall, City Manager and APCS Office Facilities to devise a plan to move forward with a long-term solution, and sent out communications around the issue to the George Washington community.  

Saturday, November 23: The fire and life-safety consultant will be on-site to conduct a root-cause analysis. In addition, the fire alarm electrician will test smoke detectors, sprinkler valves, supervisory switches that read the situation and react accordingly, sprinkler water-flow switches, pull stations, and audible and visual alarms, with the oversight of the fire and life-safety consultant. Together, they will conduct a visual assessment of the system to evaluate whether all the devices are in the appropriate places according to the newest National Fire Alarm and Signalling Code.