Weather emergencies do exist and according to the university, being completely prepared is the responsible thing to do. Especially with thousands of people on campus every day.
The siren will help to heighten emergency preparedness and give people the time to take cover.
"When severe weather is moving in, severe lightning storms or a tornado, take cover. We're not going to activate the siren unless it's a severe storm that's moving in," explains Elgin Austen, Director of Campus Police at Western.
Many staff and students heard the first live test of the siren on Tuesday. It lasted less than five minutes and was heard across campus and surrounding communities.
"The siren is a very loud siren and it penetrates up to about five kilometres from campus and the voice is also recognizable in giving certain instructions," says Austen. "We don't want people to become complacent, but when the sirens are activated, we do want them to take cover."
Campus police will monitor changing weather conditions through radar and weather radios and will determine when to use the sirens throughout the year. Officials say there will be an all-clear message included in the siren package letting people know when conditions are safe.
Queen's University in Kingston and McMaster University in Hamilton have similar siren systems.