Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), in cooperation with the Department of Residence Life staff, will conduct fire and life safety inspections twice a year. Inspections will take place once in the fall and spring semesters.
The intent of the inspections is to increase the level of safety and safety awareness for all residents, safety practices in general and the fire and life safety rules found in the resident contract and this resident handbook will be the primary focus of the inspections.
All inspections will be conducted between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. All inspections will be performed by a staff member from the Environmental Health and Safety Department and a Department of Residence Life staff member.
Residents will be notified of specific dates of the inspections. Here is a list of some things the safety officers will be looking for during the inspection:
- Entrances/exits must be free of furniture. Furniture may not block windows, and doors must be able to open 90 degrees without interference.
- All stored items in the closet and on top of the kitchen cabinet must be at least 18 inches below the ceiling.
- Electrical: use of extension cords, cover plate missing/damaged, electrical wiring frayed/damaged/crimped, multi-adapter without breaker in use, prohibited/unapproved appliances, microwave/refrigerator not plugged directly into wall.
- All stove tops and ovens must be free of foil and kept clean at all times. Foil serves as a source of grease build up around the stove top that may be a potential fire hazard.
- Fire Alarm Equipment: smoke detector obstructed (min. 24-inch clearance), smoke detector damaged, blocked sprinkler heads.
- Ignition Sources/Combustible Products: candles/incense being present in the room, flammable liquids in the room, combustible materials near electrical source, and excessive fire load in the room.
- Emergency Planning: absence of the evacuation plan on the back of the room door, windows/doors obstructed.
- Miscellaneous: poor housekeeping, floor/wall/ceiling penetrations, and the door closure missing/damaged.
- Room windows will be checked to ensure they are a viable point of exit and/or way of notifying emergency responders of your presence in the room. Do not block your windows with furniture.
Upon completion of the inspection, EHS staff will leave a paper summary of any deficiencies found. Residents will have three days to correct any deficiencies. Residents will only be responsible for correcting deficiencies related to items in their control. Maintenance staff will correct any facility-related deficiencies. Failure by the residents to correct items within the given deadline could result in disciplinary action up to and including contract termination.
Fire Alarm Procedures
Fire or Smoke Present
If you are in your room/apartment when the smoke alarm or fire alarm sounds:
- Evacuate the building. Quickly put on appropriate clothing and shoes. Do not use the elevators.
- Use caution before opening any doors. Feel the door with the back of your hand. If the door is cool, stay low and open the door. If the door is hot, find an alternate escape route.
- Pull the nearest fire alarm if the building alarm has not sounded.
- Call 911 (Emergency Services) from a neighbor’s phone.
- Do not re-enter your building until the Fire Department has declared it safe to do so.
If you are trapped in your room/apartment:
- Keep the door closed and seal cracks with tape, clothes, sheets, etc.
- Call 911 to report that you are trapped and to report your location.
- Hang a light-colored piece of cloth out your window to signal firefighters.
- Stay low and stay calm as you wait for firefighters.
If you discover a fire, activate a pull station. Pull stations are located near each exit. When you get to a safe area outside, call 911 from a convenience phone, blue light phone or from your cell phone. Answering the questions from the dispatcher clearly will ensure a quick response from emergency personnel.
Whether you believe the alarm to be a drill or actual fire, everyone, including staff, must leave the building whenever the alarm sounds. In addition to violating state law, initiating false alarms and tampering with fire safety equipment could jeopardize the safety of all residents.