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Originally published: 2013-10-28 18:43:11
Last modified: 2013-10-28 18:44:54

ASU siren sounds false alarm

by Anna Oakes

A loss of power to a receiver resulted in a false alarm sounded by Appalachian State University's emergency siren at 9:34 p.m. Sunday, said Hank Foreman, associate vice chancellor for university communications.

Foreman said the alarm was silenced 10 minutes later and that the AppState-ALERT system sent a message to the campus community at 9:53 p.m. advising there was no emergency.

At 10:03 p.m. Appalachian State tweeted, "There is no emergency on AppState campus at this time. The emergency siren on campus malfunctioned and set off audible tones."

Foreman said the university's fire alarm receiver lost power Sunday evening and that telecommunications professionals were working on the receiver and investigating the linkage with the siren system. Staff are also in communication with Whelen Siren, the manufacturer of the siren, to investigate the cause of the malfunction, he said.

"While crews are working on the fire alarm receiver, the campus is requested to notify University Police if they hear any fire/smoke alarms," Foreman said. "Police officers have also added patrols in and around all buildings."

Foreman said there are two units capable of activating the siren. The primary unit is wired into the dispatch center and was the unit that activated on Sunday, he said. The secondary backup unit allows activation from any location on campus.

"The primary unit is now plugged into a backup power supply which regulates and manages power during spikes and interruptions," Foreman said. "All of the campus sirens have control boxes at each location and have battery backups in the event of power failure."


Sarah Ann Schultz contributed reporting to this article.