Friday, September 15, 2006

Kenilworth experiences false alarms

Kenilworth Square Apartments has experienced at least eight false fire alarms, residents said, due to dust and debris from the currently under-construction Peck School of the Arts.

The two facilities' fire alarm systems are linked, officials said.

The alarms were brief due to immediate response by Kenilworth administrators to terminate the blaring horns and lights.

Kenilworth is the only project of UWM to utilize Johnston Controls for its security. In fact, one Kenilworth employee, who wants to remain anonymous for fear of termination, believes the cost of the system was in the millions.

The staff has cameras throughout the building which they are able to move and manipulate. Further, each resident and employee is granted electronic access devices to open doors within the building. These devices have signatures assigned to them to identify the user.

Staff monitors who enters the building, where and at what time they entered. Cameras detail who was with them in case of crime or incident.

“It’s so if people let someone in they shouldn’t have we can better question them,” the worker said. “We’ll question them. ‘Did you let the guest in because you know them or because they were following you in?’ Then we look to the cameras to identify the (culprit).”

Sept. 8 brought at least five false fire alarms at Kenilworth and the day before at least three.

Memos from the resident program manager were posted on all residents' apartment doors and throughout the facility:


To: All Kenilworth Square Apartment Residents

From: Rich Givens, Residential Program Manager

(414) 229-0514

Date: Thursday, September 14, 2006

Subject: Fire Alarm System

You have probably noticed over the past week or so that we have had intermittent fire alarms sounding in Kenilworth. We are currently working on rectifying the situation.

The Peck School of the Arts is on the same Fire Protection and Alarm System as Kenilworth Square Apartments. The system is fully functional; however, there is a lot of dust and dirt that keeps setting the system off as the construction company finishes work at the Peck School of the Arts.

If a fire alarm sounds, strobe lights and horns will go off. This is considered a full alarm and we ask that you exit the building immediately through the closest available stair well (sic). These emergency stairwells are located in the southeast corner or the exit off of the elevator lobby.

If the alarm is not for an actual fire, we will make an announcement over the public address system to let you know.

For your own safety, it is very important that you do not disregard an alarm unless directed by a Housing Staff member, police or fire personnel. Also, if you witness smoke or smell something burning, please report it to the Service Desk or dial 911 immediately.

I will keep you informed through this type of memo should the situation change. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (414) 229-0514 or Thank you for your time and cooperation in this matter.


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