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Life Safety Systems




Did You Know?

According to The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), from 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 5,690 structure fires in educational properties, annually. An estimated 71% of these fires, or 4,040, occurred in schools providing kindergarten through 12th grade education. Of those, about half were intentionally set, and an estimated 24% were contained trash fires. In total, these fires caused an annual average of 85 civilian fire injuries and $92 million in direct property damage.


This article concisely summarizes the District’s *Life Safety Systems (LSS) mission and operations as well as provides additional safety tips and statistics, link to online staff training and key contacts for questions and support. (*Life Safety refers to the joint consideration of both the live and physical well-being of individuals.)

The DCSD Operation and Maintenances’ Life Safety Systems (LSS) Team is committed to ensuring the safety, health and welfare of our students, staff and community through vigilant monitoring and maintenance of fire alarm and sprinkler systems, support for emergency drills, compliance with state and local fire safety and building codes, and emergency lighting to provide safe egress in the event of power failure. The LSS Team also provides routine inspections as well as preventive and corrective maintenance to fire and smoke doors, elevators, and bleachers.

LSS technicians are fully certified in fire alarm and sprinkler systems through the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET), and they monitor, supervise and maintain these systems at over eighty (80) District schools and support facilities. All systems are monitored and supervised 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In addition, the LSS Team consults with school administration, providing expertise and support to enable compliance with important state and local fire and building safety codes. In collaboration with the District Electrical Team, the LSS Team helps ensure that emergency lighting fixtures are functioning properly, to guide occupants to a safe exit in the event of an emergency or power failure.

Tips and Training for DCSD Staff

Fire Alarm Basics

It is very important that staff in all our facilities know what to do during an emergency. Remember that personal safety is a top priority, and that upon alarm activation you should follow the appropriate school evacuation plan. Should a staff member be assigned to identify the area of the alarm, they should acknowledge the alarm ONLY, note the ‘ID’ of the alarm from which to identify it on the school map. Under no circumstances should a staff member reset or silence the alarm unless instructed to do so by the Fire Department. Once the Fire Department is satisfied they will instruct you to silence the system and reset it to normal.

Fire Drill Process

It is important to remember to contact the Security Office at 303-387-9999 prior to activating the fire alarm to conduct a fire drill. This will enable Security to take the system offline temporarily, otherwise, Fire Authorities will respond, believing that it is an actual fire emergency.

After receiving confirmation from Security that the system is offline, the system can be activated by using the pull station. To reset the station, please use the key.

Evacuate the building. ALL individuals must exit the building. Verify that the building is completely clear, and then acknowledge the alarm – but do NOT reset the alarm, only acknowledge it. Silence the alarm, after which you can reset the system. After systems restore normal operation, please contact the Security Office once again at 303-387-9999 to bring system monitoring back online.

Fire Alarm – Trouble/Supervisory

Upon receiving a ‘trouble or supervisory alarm, please acknowledge the alarm – do NOT restore the system, acknowledge only. Then, note the location or problem causing the alarm and submit a work order to the Operations and Maintenance Life Safety Systems Team via the School Dude work order system.

Training Videos and Assessment

Below is a link to the fire alarm training on the  DCSD web site. Beyond this link the life safety department is available to do site walks and onsite training , We have an excellent working relationship with all  the Fire Jurisdictions in Douglas county.

(Scroll to bottom of page and select ‘Fire Alarm Systems’. You must login using your standard district ID and password)

Key Contacts

DCSD Operations and Maintenance Main Dispatch: 303-387-0400
6 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

DCSD Security: 303-387-9999
After hours 

DCSD Security is an excellent 24/7 contact for emergency needs.

Jeff Houghtaling
O: 303-387-0466

Jeff Houghtaling is the primary point of contact for questions or concerns about life safety systems including fire alarms and sprinklers.

Wayne Harbick
C: 720-641-5638 
Wayne Harbick is the Electrical Systems Team Lead and the primary person responsible for emergency generators, lighting and other electrical systems.

Matt Van Deusen, Director of Operations and Maintenance
C: 720-618-7249

Matt Van Deusen is responsible for all Operations including Maintenance, Grounds, Custodial, Environmental Health and Sustainability & Energy.