Skip to Content

Fire Detection & Notification

Texas State University uses several types of fire detection and notification systems including heat detectors, smoke detectors, pull stations, and horns and lights. The following sections discuss these components.

Heat and Smoke Detectors

There are two types of fire detection devices used on the Texas State University campus: heat detectors and smoke detectors. Please note the location of the detectors in your area and prevent damage and accidental activation.

Heat Detectors
Heat detectors respond to the convected energy in hot smoke and fire gases (i.e., heat). Heat detectors are normally located in laboratories, mechanical rooms, storage areas, and areas that could produce high levels of dust, steam, or other airborne particles.

Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors respond to the solid and liquid aerosols produced by a fire (i.e., smoke). since smoke detectors cannot distinguish between smoke particles and other particles such as steam, building occupants must be aware of detector locations and be considerate when working around them. Smoke detectors are normally found in exit corridors, office areas, assembly areas, and residence halls.

An ionization smoke detector, the most common, contains a small amount of radioactive material. Contact EHSRM for disposal.

If your work produces steam, dust, or an environment that could damage or activate a detector, contact Facilities - Tech. Services to review the installation and/or allow temporary disarming.

Alarm Systems

Pull Stations
Fire alarm manual pull stations are installed to manually activate a building's alarms in addition to the automatic fire sensing devices. When pulled manually, a pull station activates the fire alarm system and notifies University personnel that an emergency exists. Pull stations are located near exit stairways and/or building exits.

If you smell smoke or if you see smoke or a fire, complete these steps:

  • Pull a manual pull station to evacuate the area.
  • If you are not in immediate danger, call 911.
  • If you are trained in fire fighting and it is reasonably safe to do so, attempt to extinguish the fire.

Horns and Strobes
Emergency horns/bells and lights are located throughout University buildings with fire alarm systems. They are typically found near emergency pull stations. Do not block emergency horns or lights. Report damaged or defective horns and lights to the Facilities.


May 2011
Revised November 2014