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Vol. LXIII, No. 25
December 9, 2011

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Have a question about some aspect of working at NIH? You can post anonymous queries at (click on the Feedback icon) and we’ll try to provide answers.

Feedback: When they are investigating a fire alarm in an adjacent wing [of Bldg. 31] is it necessary to drive everyone crazy with the same repeating message that plays over and over? It’s impossible to get any work done. Does no one care that this is having an adverse effect on the work we do?

Response from the Office of Research Services, Division of the Fire Marshal: The majority of building fire alarm system activations on campus occur for a legitimate reason. These activations automatically notify the fire department and provide early warning for building occupants to take appropriate action.

Fire alarm notifications for the Bldg. 31 complex (A, B and C wings) have been arranged to take into account a configuration that includes a high-rise facility with adjoining wings. It is important to note that prior to the recent installation of the new fire alarm system for Bldg. 31, the Division of the Fire Marshal used to receive numerous complaints from building occupants stating the old system did not always provide proper early warning.

The new fire alarm system for Bldg. 31 meets all fire code requirements and helps to solve many of the complaints of the past by providing proper early warning for building occupants.

Feedback: I work in OD. I have never seen Outlook mail run so slow. Often you just sit there waiting for it to update the folder or pull up a message. Running a search of your messages takes forever. My co-workers have the same problem. Can’t we get the mail to run fast again, like it did a few years ago?

Response from the Center for Information Technology: With all of our email inboxes continuing to expand, we at CIT are continuously taking steps to improve email performance. Recently, we improved our Central Email Services by offering a standard mailbox with 1 GB of storage. We also offer extended storage capabilities and Secure Email/File Transfer Services for those email users with larger attachments and volume.

Despite the steps we’ve taken to improve performance, we know that numerous factors could contribute to email being slow and we appreciate your frustration. Two of the most common contributors include accessing another user’s Outlook folders and keeping a large number of mail items in your critical folders (i.e., Inbox, Calendar, Sent and Deleted items).

Due to the number of potential causes of this problem, which vary from computer to computer, we encourage you to contact the NIH IT Service Desk at (301) 496-4357 (6-HELP), (866) 319-4357, (301) 496-8294 (TTY) or by web at http://itservicedesk. so that we can pinpoint and most effectively troubleshoot the issue. For those who wish to do independent troubleshooting, CIT offers a robust online resource called the Knowledge Base (, which provides IT guidance and tips.

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