False Fire Alarms?


CCHS has been riddled with fire alarms all of 2nd term. Some are drills, others false alarms, and even more student caused. However, students don’t understand the consequences of pulling fire alarms and causing them. California’s fire law states that 9th thru 12th grade should have fire drills twice during the school year while in session. (CCR title-19, 3.13).

Whenever a fire alarm is activated, teachers and students must evacuate to the evacuation areas.

As with all public places any use of open flame are prohibited. (CCR title 19, 3.25 & CFC 308) This includes on school grounds where matches and lighters are illegal to possess. Some of the recent fire drills were caused by open flames on campus as you can see from the black residue left surrounding multiple smoke detectors.

The consequences for causing and pulling fire alarms is a lot more than a slap on the wrist. According to California’s penal code, anyone who tampers with and sounds only false fire alarm is punishable with a misdemeanor charge in county jail up to 1 year and/or  1,ooo dollars.

California’s has two arson laws, PC 451 and 452. These laws make it a crime to set fire to any building or land either willfully and maliciously which is known as ‘arson’, or recklessly which according to California is known as ‘reckless burning.’

Student’s beware because with all of these false alarms at a school of 2100+ students the chances of someone being injured during a fire drill is possible and if that occurs the misdemeanor of arson then becomes a felony. If any death or severe injury occurs from a false fire alarm it is then punishable as a felony charge and/or a fine up to 10,000 dollars.

Punishment in California for arson depends on what type of property is being burned, whether someone is injured, and whether it was accidental, willful, or reckless.