Norfolk trying to stop costly false alarms at middle school

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by David Alan

WVEC.com

Posted on August 12, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 2:13 PM

NORFOLK -- A Norfolk school's constant false alarms are costing you money.

During the past few months, there have been 22 false alarms or malfunctioning alarms at Lafayette-Winona Middle School.

Norfolk fire officials say they responded as many as three times in one day all before 7:00 a.m.

Karen Austin has lived across the street from the school since it was built.

"I would think after 19 years, they’d have those kinks worked out," she said.

A number of local fire officials say it costs on average about $400 to respond to a single false alarm.

Doing the math on false calls since February, that means it’s cost taxpayers about $9,000.

"My response is, nobody wants to waste taxpayer money. We want to be good stewards," said Michael Spencer with Norfolk Public Schools.

Spencer stated the system has looked into the issue, consulted with the alarm company and school technicians. 

He said eight to ten smoke detectors have been replaced and crews are working to determine whether winds blowing through the school at night could be triggering the alarms.   

"I believe the problem is fixed now, but I guess time will tell," he stated.

Spencer says the school system will be watching the weeks ahead to see what happens.

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