The Wilson Beacon

Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

Back to Article
Back to Article

Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

Margaret Hefferman

Margaret Hefferman

Margaret Hefferman

Max Karp and Elie Salem

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department put Wilson under “firewatch” on December 8 after the Fire Inspector found that the fire alarm control panel and fire alarms were not functioning. The Department of General Services (DGS) made the necessary repairs to the fire alarm control panel on January 9, though other minor replacements remain uncompleted.

When fire alarms are not functioning, the Fire Department institutes a “firewatch,” replacing the detection hardware of machinery with the eyes and ears of trained personnel. At Wilson, one or two contractors are assigned to each floor, wearing yellow jackets and ready to act in case of an emergency.

“[Contractors] survey the floor to make sure there is no smoke, no remnants of a fire or the starting of a fire,” said Manager of Strategy and Logistics Brandon Hall. “If the individual smells smoke or sees a fire they immediately call 911. They are dispatched here 24 hours a day.”

The firewatch was instituted because Wilson’s fire alarm control panel, a device that supplies power to all fire alarms in the building, had run out of battery. “The power supply pack was out. It was shot. So no power was reaching the fire alarm system to sound the alarms,” Hall said.    

The fire alarms were broken from December 8 at the latest, when the problem was found during a fire drill, to January 9, when DGS repaired them. The fire alarms could also have been broken for the entire month of November, when no firewatch was instituted, because the alarms are only checked at the beginning of each month.

Nevertheless, the immediate danger passed. Firewatch personnel told The Beacon that the repairs are finished, but that they want to continue to monitor the situation.

According to Hall, the only remaining broken item is the dialer, which automatically contacts the fire department in the case of an emergency.

Fire Marshall Tony Falwell insists that Wilson remains safe throughout the firewatch and that firewatches are quite common throughout the District when fire safety repairs need to be done.

Fire Inspector Beatrix Diggs canceled the fire drill that was scheduled to occur on January 10 and is rescheduling it for some point later in the month.

Falwell did not give an exact timeline for when the firewatch would end, but said it will be finished soon.

About the Writer
Elie Salem, News Editor

Second year at The Beacon, but it’s no sweat cuz he is a BOSS. This junior is also the News Editor, though is never mentioned (probably intentionally)...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    DCPS terminates new School Without Walls admissions policy that promoted diversity

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    Martin asks Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to speak at Wilson graduation ceremony

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    House passes bill endorsing DC statehood

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    Beefsteak joins Best Buy in Tenley exodus

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    Wilson hosts international night

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    Target replacing Best Buy in Tenleytown

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    Wilson robotics team District championship qualification in contention after underperforming at tournament

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    New Tenley Tuesday promotion provides restaurant discounts to students and staff

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    PSAs featuring Wilson students to air nationally

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    Latin teacher departs mid-year, ending program

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    Wilson partners with Truth Initiative to combat juuling

  • News

    Mayor Bowser announces summer school improvement projects

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    Beloved choir director Lori Williams to resign and pursue jazz career

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    Acting Chancellor sits down with The Beacon

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    Controversial legacy of Woodrow Wilson debated in name change forum

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    BSU coordinates BHM celebration

  • News

    Mandated expenses undercut budget increase

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    Anonymous payment saves mass media trip

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    Lester Holt joins Wilson for assembly on fake news

  • Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs

    News

    One Chavez school remains following recent closures

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of Woodrow Wilson Senior High School
Wilson under watch, awaiting fire safety repairs