Sandy one year later: Some damaged schools still unable to sound the alarm

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, October 24, 2013

P.S. 207 has a human fire alarm: Men and women paid to stand in the hallways and look for smoke. It's been this way ever since Sandy flooded the building. Parents worry it's a dangerous substitute.

"It's not as quick as pulling a alarm system on the wall. You just walk over, you pull the bar and the fire alarm system immediately contacts the fire department as opposed to a fire guard who has to contact the main office, make an announcement, have the children leave and then also contact the fire department. Two, three minutes can make a difference," said Allison Jasiak, a P.S. 207 parent.

P.S. 207 is one of seven school buildings with a fire guard instead of a working alarm, and one of 30 schools with temporary boilers hooked up outside. These were supposed to be quick Band-Aids, to get kids and teachers back in the classrooms as soon as possible.

In fact, within three months, school officials managed to get 75,000 students back into hundreds of damaged buildings.

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