Alarms on campus tested to keep Kent safe

Cassandra Beck


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Fire and emergency alarms are tested annually during each semester in all residential and academic halls on campus.

Three weeks ago, Kent State fire safety tested the university’s mass communication system in all non-residential buildings on campus. The mass communication system is separate from the fire alarm system by having a Kent State dispatcher speak live over the speakers. The point of the speaker is to inform all students and staff on what the emergency is and how they should react to it. Fire alarms are the actual siren sound, sounded specifically for fires.

Each academic building should have heard a mass communication test around 11:10 a.m. Sept. 28. Some buildings, however, reported not hearing the speaker over the mass communication system; these buildings include Franklin Hall, Bowman Hall, Stewart Hall and parts of the Student Center.

“We do this test to make sure the system runs correctly,” Kent State Police Lieutenant, Bill Buckbee said. “If the alarm doesn’t go off we see what went wrong. Is it not connected? Is a speaker blown out?”

Buckbee said the mass communication systems that reportedly did not work have been investigated by technicians and brought back online. The actual test of these mass communications systems will take place next month, usually during breaks or the weekend.

“We don’t test the fire alarm during the day; we test a mass notification system that tells what to do in evacuation procedures,” Buckbee said. “Some buildings that didn’t hear it may only be a certain floor; it has been taken care of.”

Ed Moisio, Fire Prevention and Safety Coordinator said that actual fire alarms with the sirens are tested each semester in residential halls. Residential halls do not have the mass notification system with a live speaker, but a siren sound and a pre-recorded message that plays over it.

“We test these alarms to make sure everyone is safe,” Buckbee said. “This is an opportunity to fix any problems and make sure all alarms work the way they are supposed.”

Cassandra Beck is the safety reporter for the Daily Kent Stater.

Contact Cassandra Beck at [email protected].