Edinburgh pupils banned from using spray deodorant due to school’s sensitive smoke alarms

Picture: Boroughmuir High School, TSPL
Picture: Boroughmuir High School, TSPL
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Students at Boroughmuir High in Edinburgh have been told not to use antiperspirants due to them interfering with the school’s smoke alarms

The new, state-of-the-art school, which opened in February has seen a number of false fire alarms including one on the day it opened. And now it is thought that pupils are exploiting the sensitive smoke detectors by spraying them with deodorant.

In order to tackle this, headteacher David Dempster has written to parents and carers to let them know of the spray ban.

As reported in the Daily Record, Mr Dempster said in the letter: “As you may be aware, we have had a spate of false fire alarms recently, resulting in full evacuation of the building.

“This is hugely disruptive to learning and teaching and the life of the school more generally.

“We are aware that some of these alarms were the result of smoke detectors being hit in error or overly sensitive smoke detectors in PE changing rooms being set off by spray deodorant.

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“As a result of this over-sensitivity, we are asking that pupils do not use spray deodorants after PE in PE changing rooms or anywhere in the school.

“In fact, we see it as essential that we ban the use of spray deodorants in the school to mitigate any future possibility of fire alarms being set off in error.

“I would appreciate your support in this.”

Mr. Dempster added: “It is now apparent ... that there have been efforts to set the fire alarm off maliciously with deodorants during lunchtime in stairwells, as well as efforts to break the glass on fire panels.

“I have announced to all pupils that anyone acting in this way will be charged by the police and will be excluded from school.

“I have also asked pupils – the vast, vast majority being responsible and mature young people who are immensely proud of their school – to let any member of staff know of any information they have in allowing us to ascertain who the perpetrators are.”

A City of Edinburgh Council spokesperson said that all the smoke alarm activations have been false alarms and that they are looking to replace the sensors.

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