Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

Fire Alarms

This is not a drill

A fire alarm system consists of a number of devices working together to detect and alert people through visual and audio signals whenever smoke or fire is present. These alarm signals may be activated from smoke detectors and heat detectors. They may also be activated via Manual fire alarm activation devices such as manual call points or pull stations.

If there is a fire in your building, you can expect the smoke to spread quickly.  The fire alarm system gives you the time you need get out. Notification devices, such as a flashing light, strobe light, electromechanical horn, and/or "beeper horn" provide both visual and audible alarms to alert occupants of the need to evacuate or take action in the event of other emergencies. At William & Mary, fire alarm evacuation signals generally consist of a standardized audible tone, with visual notification in all public and common use areas and resident apartments such as those at Graduate Housing and Tribe Square. The emergency signals are intended to be distinct and understandable to avoid confusion with other signals such as the signal from a carbon monoxide detector or an alarm clock.

Do you know more than one way out of your building?
Check your building evacuation map for exit routes!
Residence Hall occupants should ensure they know the location of their muster point.


Safety Tips:

  • Never question the alarm, always address it. GET OUT.
  • Raise the alarm, alert others on the way out of the building.
  • Close doors as you pass through them, to help with containment.
  • Proceed directly to the predetermined muster area, 100 feet from the building. 
  • Announce to emergency responders if persons might be still inside needing assistance.
  • Remain at the muster area until FD or PD give the all clear.
  • Emergency Numbers: W&M Dispatch- 757 221-4596 or 911

Planned Fire Drills:

The goal of workplace fire drills is to familiarize employees with emergency procedures and the location of means of egress components provided within the facility. The fire drill is a tool that we use to ensure that students, staff and faculty react properly in the event of an actual emergency within a facility.

The frequency of a fire evacuation drill depends upon the classification of a given building.  The drill schedules we generally adhere to are:

  • Residence Life Halls: Once a semester (4 times a year) 
  • Academic and Administrative Buildings: Once a year
  • Child Care Center: Once every 30 days

Fire evacuation drills are unannounced and scheduled during times when we anticipate there will be a high number of occupants inside the building. Special consideration is given to high stress times such as exams or extensive research that would be interrupted should alarms be activated.  We discuss the drill results with the occupants while at the muster point and include those details that would ensure the safety and speed of the occupants when exiting the building.  We record the drill results and use the data for various applications to include trend analyses, training development, and policies and procedures revisions.