Fire Safety

Fire Safety Procedure

You will find emergency instructions, in case of a fire, posted in your room. State law, as well as residence hall policy, requires that all students leave the building, including their rooms and/or public areas, when a fire alarm is sounded.

  • Plan ahead. Know how to get out if your exit is blocked. Make sure you know at least two ways out.
  • Sound the alarm. If you discover or suspect a fire, sound the building fire alarm. Warn the other occupants by knocking on doors and shouting as you leave.
  • Leave the building. Get out and close the door. A closed door between you and the fire can hold back the fire while you and others escape. Move away from the building and out of the way of the fire department. Don't go back into the building until the fire department says it is safe to do so.

Fire Prevention

  • Smoking is not permitted in the residence halls.
  • Cook in approved areas or kitchens and use laboratory tested appliances. Stay nearby while appliances are on and in use. Clean up grease and appliances as soon as possible.
  • Be careful with electricity. Use only laboratory tested appliances. Don't overload outlets.
  • Avoid electrical abuse. Use of electrical "octopuses' to obtain more outlets can result in overloaded circuits and fire. Replace damaged wires. Match your appliance power requirements to the circuit power. Most electrical circuits only supply 15 or 20 amps per room for all the outlets.
  • Prohibit hazardous storage. Dispose of all waste as soon as possible. Surplus materials and paper recycling containers should be stored in a safe place, not in corridors, stairs or exit ways. Because of the combustible nature of the following materials, they may not be stored in the residence halls: oxygen tanks (except when permission is granted for medical reasons), flammable liquids (e.g. gasoline, lighter fluid, charcoal, etc.).
  • Eliminate obstacles. Storage of bicycles, chairs, desks and other items is prohibited in all exit ways. Blocked exits have caused "chain reaction" pile ups of fallen people during emergencies.

What to do in Case There is a Fire:

  • Crawl if there's smoke. If you get caught in smoke, get down and crawl. Cleaner, cooler air will be near the floor.
  • Feel doors before opening. Before opening any doors, feel the metal knob. If it is hot, don't open the door. If it is cool, brace yourself against the door, open it slightly, and if heat or heavy smoke are present, close the door and stay in the room.
  • Don't use elevators in a fire. Always use an exit stairwell. Elevator shafts may fill with smoke or the power may fail, leaving you trapped. If they are closed, stairway fire doors will keep out fire and smoke and will protect you until you get outside.

If You Get Trapped

  • Keep the doors closed. Seal cracks and vents if smoke comes into the room. If you're trapped in a room and there's no smoke outside, open the windows.
  • Signal for help. Hang an object out the window (a bed sheet, jacket, shirt) to attract the fire department's attention. If there is a phone in the room, call the fire department and report that you are trapped. Be sure to give your room number and location.
  • Sometimes it's safer to stay in place. If all exits from a floor are blocked, go back to your room, close the door, seal cracks, open the windows if safe, wave something out the window and shout or phone for help.