Hinsdale Central High School had an unscheduled test of its new alarm system for intruders when someone accidentally set off the alarm Tuesday afternoon.
A student with sports equipment accidentally bumped into the alarm, said District 86 Superintendent Bruce Law.
The alarms, which include audible alerts and blue flashing lights, tell everyone to follow lockdown procedures.
The alarm sounded about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, when most of the students were gone, Law said. It was primarily members of the staff in the school, who followed instructions and their training.
Law said the staff will have a debriefing to discuss what they learned from the incident.
Over the summer, District 86 installed the BluePoint emergency alert system at its buildings, including both high schools, for a cost of $188,000. The system includes blue alarm pull boxes, similar to red fire alarm boxes, thoughout the schools.
One reason the district decided to install the new system was because there are areas in the schools where announcements over the public address system cannot be heard, such as the cafeteria and the gymnasium.
Law said he was in such a place, Central’s community room, when the false alarm sounded.
The flashing blue lights would alert everyone there may be a gunman in the building or other emergency. Staff who are in areas where they cannot hear announcements then can use text messages and phone calls to communicate information to each other, Law said.
The BluePoint system also automatically notifies the police there may be a threat.
The Hinsdale Police Department responded to the false alarm and then notified the school and the community when officers determined there was no danger.