Skip to main content

University Policy 12

Fire Protection

Formerly Executive Memorandum 76-28
Initially approved December 16, 1976
Revised October 18, 2006

Policy Topic: University Facilities and State Owned Property
Administering office: University Police/Facilities Management


Any person discovering a fire or suspecting a fire will notify all building occupants by using the building pull-station fire alarm system, shouting, or any other means available, and immediately call the emergency number 911 from a University telephone or 828.227.7301 from a cellular telephone. The University Police telecommunicator will contact the Jackson County Emergency Operations Center who will dispatch the local fire department. Immediately following, the telecommunicator will notify police and Facilities Management personnel.

When reporting a fire, or another emergency, the caller should give: the location of the fire or emergency, the building name, caller's name, and any other information requested. Remain on the phone until released by the Police telecommunicator that you are notifying. The person reporting the fire should meet the responding Police officer(s) or Fire Department personnel so that any needed details may be furnished.


Upon hearing the fire alarm sound, all occupants must immediately leave the building and remain outside until advised by Police or Fire Department personnel that it is safe to re-enter the building. University departments are encouraged to designate an assembly point to which all of their department employees report, so that they may be accounted for.

To ensure proper notice to Police and Fire Departments, the individual who activates the alarm must also report the fire to the Police telecommunicator.

When the campus fire alarm system produces a signal indicating a possible fire condition, the off-site central fire alarm monitoring service will report this information to the Jackson County Emergency Operations Center who will dispatch the local fire department. Immediately following, the Jackson County emergency dispatch officer will contact the University Police dispatcher who will notify Police and Facilities Management personnel. If Police or Facilities Management personnel arrive at the scene and determine a fire condition does not exist then they shall contact the Jackson County Emergency Operations Center and advise them to cancel the call. The Facilities Management personnel or Police officer will re-activate the alarm system after the determination that a fire condition does not exist or the fire is extinguished.

All residence halls shall have a fire drill during the first month of each semester. Students who fail to evacuate a residence hall when a fire alarm sounds are subject to disciplinary action under the WCU Student Code of Conduct.

All individuals are warned that the N.C. General Statute 14-286 makes it unlawful to:

  • Give a false fire alarm;
  • Damage or tamper with fire alarm systems or fire extinguishers;
  • Misuse fire extinguishing equipment;
  • Or to aid and abet on any of the above.

Persons guilty of these acts may be prosecuted and are subject to a $500 fine and imprisonment up to 6 months in addition to University disciplinary action.


People with disabilities requiring assistance to exit a building should notify the nearest responsible faculty or staff member, request notification of emergency response personnel, and/or go to the nearest stairwell or safe refuge area. Faculty and staff members should assist individuals with disabilities in their respective areas with getting to a safe area, while emergency response personnel arrive. It is inadvisable to attempt the transport of a person with impaired mobility, up or down stairs, without emergency responder assistance.


Additional information is contained in the WCU Emergency Response Plan and the Safety and Health Program Manual.

Office of Web Services