Michigan school district employs human fire monitors

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

PONTIAC, Mich.—After alarms failed during a recent fire drill, Pontiac High School employed a human monitor to be on the alert for fire danger, according to a report from The Oakland Press, a newspaper based here.

The employee, who may spend up to several weeks in the provisional position, is not the only human monitor in the school district. The fire alarms also malfunctioned at a nearby elementary school, prompting the district to implement a similar position there, the report said.

The fire monitor positions are in accordance with Michigan law stating that in the event of defective alarms, schools must employ a “fire watch,” a person to monitor the building for any sign of fire until a functioning system is installed and operating, the report said.

Replacing the fire alarms will cost $425,000, the district’s superintendent told the newspaper. The district is facing a budget deficit of $38.5 million, according to the article.