Safety Procedure Update from WKU Athletics

WKU beat Bowling Green on Aug. 29, 59-31
Sept. 4, 2014 WKU Athletics, university personnel and the WKU Police Department met Thursday morning to extensively review the safety procedures that were enacted at the end of the first half of WKU's football game on August 29.

A smoke alarm detected steam and was activated in an area of the stadium used to prepare food for the first time as part of WKU's enhanced gameday food options. Police and fire responders immediately recognized it as a non-emergency situation. By federal law and design of the system, once the recorded alarm is activated it silences all public address communications.

The press box public address announcer, the on-field public address announcer and the head referee all had their communications systems locked off. After quick confirmation that we were in a non-emergency situation, it was communicated to the head referee that play could continue at his discretion, and he then notified both teams that play would continue. Television microphones picked up his communication. However, because his public microphone was silenced no one in the stadium could hear this.

Moving forward, WKU is enhancing its safety measures by:

  • Adding additional fire alarm functionality to gameday operations, which will include the capability to make immediate public address announcements from the press box by installing an extra remote voice panel
  • Changing the smoke alarm in the affected food area to a heat alarm to be consistent with the rest of the food preparation areas throughout the stadium
  • Reviewing all emergency policies and procedures to streamline communication and response, as is customary at points throughout the year

    At no time during the incident was anyone in the stadium in danger.