To improve emergency communication abilities, Washington State University has installed a new siren/public announcement speaker system on its Pullman campus. The directional speakers — each rated at 115 decibels — were mounted last week on the roof tops of five buildings.

The speaker manufacturer, Acoustic Technology Incorporated Systems, will be on campus testing and adjusting the speakers later this week for volume and direction.

“We want everyone in the community to know that when they hear sirens sounding this week, it is just a test, not an emergency,” said Chris Tapfer, emergency management coordinator.

The purpose of the siren/speaker system is to provide the university with a way to alert students, faculty and staff, within minutes that an emergency exists and how to react. In addition to sounding the siren, the $114,000 system also allows the broadcasting of preprogrammed messages or live announcements.

Additional training involving the system is planned for later this semester.

For more information, e-mail Tapfer at tapfer@wsu.edu.