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MURRAY SCHOOL OFFICIALS LOOKING FOR WAYS TO IMPROVE FIRE ALARMS

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School officials are concerned because school fire alarms aren't directly connected to fire stations and are looking at ways to improve fire and other emergency call procedures to prevent false alarms.

At a recent Murray School Board meeting, board member Sherry Madsen told the board she's received several phone calls from parents who have expressed concern over the fact the alarms aren't connected to the fire stations.Murray School District officials told the board that school alarms aren't connected to fire stations, saying school secretaries have been instructed to call the fire stations during the school day if a fire is reported on school grounds.

School officials said fire alarms aren't connected to fire stations because there's a high incidence of false alarms set off by students. Officials added that if alarms were connected to fire departments firefighters would visit schools unnecessarily.

Jordan School District officials are also looking into improving their fire reporting procedures. Several weeks ago, West Jordan High School and Crescent View Middle School were both damaged by fires. A sewing machine cord pinched in a metal hinge was believed to be the cause of a fire at West Jordan High School. The fire was discovered early in the morning.

The fire triggered the sprinkling system to go off causing water damage to the premises in addition to the burning of cabinets in a sewing room, officials said.

There was another fire at Crescent View last week. School officials said the fire was confined to a restroom area and was extinguished by a custodian. The school, however, was evacuated while firefighters cleared the smoke from the building.

Students charged with setting the fire will appear in juvenile court.

An ADT security spokesperson said all school fire signals are picked up at a central station manned 24-hours a day. From there, calls and alarms are dispatched to different fire stations. The ADT official did not know many schools it provides with fire-alarm protection. A Rocky Mountain Security spokesman also didn't know how many schools receive fire-alarm protection.

Fire officials said alarms are connected to the alarm companies, where personnel are responsiblefor calling the fire stations.