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July 3, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Serious faults found in schools' alarm systems

EMERGENCY alarm buttons in many of the city's kindergartens and schools -- intended to quickly summon police in dire situations -- are in poor condition or not working at all, education authorities said yesterday.

Some devices have run out of batteries and some components have eroded for lack of maintenance, officials said.

In some cases, the buttons' failures have gone undetected because no one made regular checks with police and security firms.

Some schools even diverted the circuit of the emergency button for other purposes, such as installing telephone lines.

Authorities began checking the condition of the alarm buttons following the rash of violent attacks on Chinese school children and teachers earlier this year.

The Shanghai Education Commission issued a paper yesterday calling on district education bureaus to thoroughly inspect the city's school alarms, which were installed in 2004, and punish any illegalities right away.

From today to July 25, district education bureaus will work with police officers to check out the condition and maintenance record of the alarms in local kindergartens and primary and secondary schools, one by one.

Schools failing to properly install the equipment will be ordered to make adjustments by August 20. Leaders of schools that converted the alarm line for other uses will be punished and their incorrect behavior made public, according to the paper.


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