New Alarm System Brings Enhanced Emergency Response to Colorado State University

Colorado State University has installed a new alarm system into several buildings, including residence halls and some student apartments, Hughes Stadium, Glover Building and the University Center for the Arts. The new, "smart" system is a network of fiber optic connections to all life-safety devices: smoke detectors, fire alarm pull stations, fire sprinkler systems, heat detectors, defibrillators, Freon alarms and other devices designed to emit alerts during emergencies.

The new features are an upgrade within an existing system through Notifier, a system that has been used on campus for several years. The enhanced system is now "smart," meaning it has the capability to send real-time information via a server. Emergency workers can access the system remotely through a Web site, which provides information to emergency responders en-route to the scene.

The real-time response is accessible to Colorado State University Police Department dispatchers. Poudre Fire Authority is obtaining new on-board computers that will be installed in their vehicles. These systems will make it possible for responders to access floor plans that indicate the exact location of specific life-safety devices that have been activated as well as details about the kind of system that was activated.

During an emergency, the system also notifies on-duty university staff with cell phone text messages that a life-safety device has been activated.

During after-hour emergencies, staff can receive the text message and pull up the Web interface at home rather than having to return to campus before being able to respond. In addition, the system can send maintenance requests to university staff when a life-safety device is malfunctioning or in need of service.

Colorado State University Police Department also can silence alarms remotely when requested by emergency responders.