Better precautions should be taken to prevent false alarms

When students place bagels and bread in the toasters, they can’t see if they are done or not. If students leave their bagels in for too long, they start burning and sticking to the folders that get inserted into the toaster. Then the bagels produce smoke, which can set off the fire alarms, resulting in an unnecessary fire evacuation of the whole school (photo by Sofia Michaledes).

Every Friday at 4pm, ASL’s fire alarms are tested in order to make sure that the school’s fire alarms and doors are properly working. However, sometimes there are incidents during the school day that cause unnecessary interruptions to classes. These interruptions can regularly disturb lessons and lessen the learning of many students. One of the most common reasons why the fire alarms unnecessarily sound is because of smoke from the toasters in the cafeteria. I believe that the school should invest in a better system in the Commons in order to prevent this from happening.

When a student places a bagel in a toaster, they can’t see if the bagel is getting toasted or not. This poses issue because kids have to constantly check to see if their bagel is done or not. Students have accidentally left the bagel in the toaster for too long, causing it to overcook and burn. The smoke from the bagels can set off the fire alarm, which disturbs classes going on in other parts of the building. According to Roi Yefet, the head of security, “the fire alarms can be activated by aerosol, a toaster, or a fault in the system.” This impedes students’ learning, especially if there is a guest speaker or an exam that gets interrupted.

When the fire alarm goes off in the middle of a class, students and teachers must evacuate the school through specific paths. Then, they must wait outside with the students and the rest of the staff as the cause of the alarm is investigated. This can take five to ten minutes, or longer, which, combined with the amount of time it takes to get back to classroom and to refocus students, can take out a significant chunk of time that could have been spent learning. By providing a better system in the Commons, the alarms would not go off, making it easier for students to learn.

While removing toasters from the cafeteria might seem like a viable solution, many students eat toasted bagels for lunch daily. Removing the toasters from the cafeteria would result in a vast amounts of students who will now have to choose to eat something that might not be as satisfactory as the bagels that they ate daily previously.

Furthermore, bagels are rich in fiber, which slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. Foods that are rich in fiber such as bagels keep your blood glucose levels from rising too fast and too high, if your body produces insulin. Cells from your body rely on glucose for energy, therefore, glucose is necessary in order to survive. When your blood sugar gets too high and your body doesn’t produce insulin to break it down, you can get Hyperglycemia, or in other words, diabetes. As mentioned before, bagels include fiber; that slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream so that your blood glucose levels will remain healthy. A balanced and healthy lifestyle and diet needs a healthy mix of protein, fiber, fats and carbohydrates, all of which are included in bagels.

Yefet also mentioned that we can’t just get rid the fire alarms in the cafeteria because of the toasters. However, with either providing clearer instructions for students or investing in new toasters, the security team would able to still be aware of fire safety and students would still be able to eat bagels for lunch. This way, both students and the security team will be able to keep the school a safe, healthy, environment.

About Carrie Kim ('22)

Opinions Editor (2017-18)

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