Campus Life


Spotlight on Fire Safety in the Residence Halls

Creation of a safe environment is the responsibility of every community member. To avoid a crisis, consider the following procedures:

  • Sleep with your bedroom doors CLOSED and locked at night. A closed door will help slow the spread of fire, smoke and heat.    If you discover or suspect a fire, pull the alarm and begin evacuation. Knock on other students doors on your way out of the building.
  • When you hear the alarm, take a coat, shoes and a towel and prepare to evacuate. Do not stop for personal belongings. NEVER HIDE IN CLOSETS, UNDER BEDS OR IN SHOWERS TO AVOID EVACUATION.
  • Touch the surface of the door before opening it. If it feels hot, do not open it. DON'T PANIC. STOP AND THINK BEFORE YOU START. If the knob is hot, brace yourself against the door and open it slightly (fire can create enough pressure to push open a door if it is not held firmly). If heat or heavy smoke is present in the hall, close the door and stay in the room.
  • If you cannot leave your room, seal cracks around doors and vents, using wet towels if possible.
  • If the door feels cool, open it just a crack to check for smoke. If there is none, leave the building immediately. Remember to crawl and keep your head down if there is smoke.
  • If the nearest exit is blocked by smoke, heat or fire, go to an alternate exit.
  • After exiting, move at least 50 feet away from the building, staying out of the fire lanes. RA's and Public Safety officers will be on the scene to provide direction. If this is not the case, go immediately to the closest phone and call Public Safety at 399.
  • STAY OUT OF THE BUILDING until Public Safety or the Fire Department has issued an all clear signal and you are given permission to return.
  • You may not disregard a fire alarm or fail to evacuate a building in which a fire alarm is sounding, regardless of its nature (drill or actual alert).
  • Tampering with fire safety equipment (e.g. alarms, extinguishers, smoke detectors, sprinklers and emergency exit signs) is an exceptionally dangerous practice and represents a serious breach of community safety standards.
  • Failure to evacuate and tampering with fire safety equipment are violations of the "Student Code of Conduct".

Fire drills

  • Fire drills are intended to familiarize you with the sound of the fire alarm, the location of emergency exits and the procedures for evacuating the building. All individuals are expected to leave the building during all alarms.
  • During the year, monthly unannounced fire drills will be scheduled.
  • Periodically during these monthly drills, student rooms will be randomly checked to insure compliance with evacuation requirements and to check fire safety equipment.
  • Be sure that guests are registered with Public Safety so they can be accounted for in the event of a fire.

Avoid Fire Hazards

  • Electrical Overload: Overloaded circuits, worn out cords and plugs and high voltage appliances can cause fires. Always use UL approved items and avoid the use of octopus plugs.
  • Electrical Appliances & Food Preparation: Check the Student Handbook for a summary of appliances approved for use in residence halls. Never leave approved appliances unattended and unplug them after each use.
  • Open Flames: Candles (whether functional or decorative), incense and flammable liquids are prohibited in the residence halls.
  • Trash: Trash should not be allowed to accumulate because it may cause a fire or block your exit in the event of an emergency.
  • Obstacles: Leaving bikes or furniture in doorways, corridors or stairwells creates a fire safety hazard and is defined as a blocked means of exit.
  • Propping of Fire Doors: Fire doors should be kept closed at all times. This prevents the stairways from acting as a chimney and spreading smoke and fire through the building. PROPPING OR BLOCKING FIRE DOORS is dangerous and a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

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