Important WWU fire-safety tips to remember

The tragic loss of life in the high-rise apartment building in New York City earlier this month is a reminder of fire and life safety challenges that tall buildings present to emergency responders and occupants. Because of the inherent challenges of high-rise buildings and historic fires, protection measures have evolved over the years, including very specific sets of precautions included in the building’s design.

Although Western has several buildings and residence halls that are considered high-rise (over 75’ high) buildings, most buildings on campus incorporate several design features that limit the likelihood of fire, quickly detect and suppress fires, and protect occupants during an evacuation. All buildings meet fire code and, as buildings are built or remodeled, they incorporate the current codes.

Please be aware of and respect the fire and life safety features in buildings:

  • Do not tamper with life safety devices, including smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, exit signs, etc. Report nonfunctioning or damaged fire protection features to Facilities Management at
  • Keep hallways and stairwells clear. These are not storage areas, but exit routes.
  • Never block open enclosed stairwell doors, they must be able to be closed when the fire alarm system activates. Hold open devices tied into the fire alarm system for safety fire doors that you wish to be held open can be obtained through Facilities Management Ready Request system.
  • During a fire if you have mobility issues, go into an enclosed stairwell (they are constructed of fire-resistant walls and doors), call UPD Dispatch (360-650-3911) and wait for emergency responders to help you evacuate.
  • Participate in fire drills scheduled quarterly in residence halls and annually in academic buildings so you know what to do and where to go in the event of a fire.

- The WWU Environmental Health and Safety Team

Friday, January 14, 2022 - 11:30am

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