See all news

Alertus Testing


From: Ty Davisson, Director of Emergency Management

Fire alarm systems in speaker-equipped buildings on the Medical School campus were recently outfitted with ALERTUS emergency notification modules. These modules allow for an emergency voice message with safety instructions to be broadcast through the current fire alarm system in the event of a serious University-wide emergency (such as a tornado warning or active shooter on campus). Once integrated, these voice systems will provide basic information about the type of emergency, safety instructions and how/where to get additional information. We believe this system upgrade is a critical step towards enhancing our ability to reach the broadest possible audience of our campus community.

As a part of this installation, a significant number of campus buildings’ fire alarm systems will undergo a period of testing to ensure proper system operation. Testing is expected to occur in select buildings on the following dates: 9/18, 9/19, 10/2, and 10/3. Signs will be posted to doors and common spaces in each building that will be tested at least 4-5 days prior to the actual test date. The test alert will have a short audible tone followed by a clearly enunciated voice message stating: “This is a Test of the Washington University Notification system. This is only a test. There is no emergency at this time.” As a part of evaluating proper integration with the current fire alarm systems, there will also be periods where the standard fire alarm alert signal will be briefly activated during the tests.

There is NO NEED OR EXPECTATION FOR EVACUATION OR ANY OTHER ACTION TO BE TAKEN by the campus community during these tests. In order to limit disruption or inconvenience during this process, care will be given to keeping the tests in each building as brief as possible. The entire testing process for each building is anticipated to be short. The period of time where audible test alerts will be broadcast over the fire alarm system is expected to only be 2-3 brief periods of time lasting 1 minute or less in each building. Protective Services, Emergency Management, and Facilities staff will be on hand in each building during these tests to ensure communication and life safety in the unlikely event that an actual emergency should occur during these tests.

The following is the anticipated schedule for each building to be tested. Notices will also be posted in main entrances of each building 3-4 days prior to testing:



September 18, 2014 September 19, 2014 October 2, 2014 October 3, 2014
North Tower Addition West Building 4480 Clayton SRF East
Clinical Science Research Building Irene Walter Johnson Institute of Rehab 4488 Forest Park Becker Medical Library
Wohl Clinic Maternity BJCIH Farrell Learning and Teaching Center
Wohl Hospital McMillan Northwest Tower McDonnell Science
Barnard Hospital East McDonnell Olin Hall
Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology


Categories: OFMD Update