Residence Hall & Residential Fire Safety
- Know where the fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire exits are located in your residence hall or home, and know how to use them. Do not hesitate to activate a fire alarm if you see a fire or smell smoke.
- Any person who intentionally or recklessly activates a fire alarm (including smoke detectors and pull-stations) or discharges a fire extinguisher without legitimate purpose endangers every resident in that building and will be prosecuted. Public Safety accepts confidential tips regarding such violations.
- Respond immediately to all fire alarms. Never assume it is a false alarm.
- Know two ways out of your building in case one is blocked by smoke or fire.
- In off-campus homes, post a fire evacuation plan for your floors so all residents can become familiar with it.
- No open-flame devices are permitted in student residences. Open-flame devices include candles, incense, oil lamps, etc.
- Smoking is not permitted in any University building.
- Floor-style halogen lamps are not permitted in student residences.
- Never cover smoke detectors or sprinkler heads or place objects over them.
- Never tamper with smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers or other building life safety equipment.
- Do not block open stairway doors. If doors are blocked, open smoke can enter the stairway and prevent its use during an emergency.
If the Fire Alarm Sounds in Your Building
- Feel your door before opening it; if it is not hot, open it slowly to ensure the hallway is not filled with smoke and leave by the nearest exit.
- Crawl if there is smoke. Cooler, cleaner air is located near the floor.
- If your door is hot, do not open it. Place a towel at the bottom of the door to prevent smoke from entering your room and call for help (dial 911). Go to your window to attract the attention of people outside (do not break the window) and await emergency personnel.
- Do not use elevators to evacuate your building.
- Once outside the building, proceed to your designated meeting location.
- Call 911 to report a fire.
- Once you’ve reached a safe place, report all fires to Public Safety, no matter how minor you believe it is.
Electrical Cords & Appliances
- Never place an electrical cord under rugs or furniture or in areas where it could be damaged by people or equipment.
- Limit the use of electrical extension cords and multiplug adaptors. Extension cords are designed for temporary use only. Do not overload electrical outlets by using multiple power strips.
- Repair or replace all damaged electrical cords and appliances.
- Remain in the room and monitor cooking appliances when in use.
Open Flames, Candles & Smoking
The presence or use of candles, incense burners and other open-flame items is not permitted in University buildings. This includes all apartments, residence halls, offices and research areas. Smoking is not permitted in any University building. Ensure smoking materials are totally extinguished before discarding in an approved container.
- If you have to leave the stove, microwave or other cooking appliance unattended for any reason, turn the appliance off.
- Have a lid close by to place on the pan if a fire starts in the pan.
- Always turn on the stove exhaust fan.
- Clean appliances regularly. Avoid grease buildup on appliances and surrounding surfaces. Watch for grease overflows that can start fires.
- Don't place towels, napkins or other paper products around the stove surface.
- Never try to move or carry a pan that is on fire. It is a common reaction to move or throw a burning pan into a sink. This can result in serious burns and spread the fire. Instead, carefully turn the heat off and place a cover over the pan. Do not remove the lid until the pan has cooled down.
- Never use water on a grease fire. It will cause the fire to spread.
- Know how to correctly use your fire extinguisher.
- Call 911 to report a fire emergency.
Office Fire Safety
Planning ahead and staying calm will help you stay safe during any emergency.
- Have a building evacuation plan, know the plan and practice the plan during fire drills.
- Post building evacuation plans throughout your workplace.
- Learn the location of the two nearest exits from your work area.
- Count the doors, desks, workstations, etc. between your workspace and the nearest exit. Due to smoke or power failure, an escape in the dark may be necessary.
- Know the location of the nearest fire alarm, know how to use it and be familiar with its signal.
- Never block exits with furniture, equipment, work materials or trash.
- Never block stairway doors open and keep all stairways and landings clear. Nothing can be placed or stored in stairways.
- Call 911 to report emergencies. Don’t assume that someone else will call for help. When talking to emergency personnel, remain calm and give the dispatcher as much information as you know.
- Never use an elevator during a fire.
- If a door is hot do not open it. If the door is cool, open it slowly and be prepared to quickly close it if smoke or heat rushes in.
- Leave quickly, closing doors as you go to contain fire and smoke.
- If you encounter smoke or fire during your escape, use another exit. If caught in smoke get as low as possible to the floor and move toward the exit. Heat and smoke rise so cleaner air will be near the floor.
- Once outside, move away from the building and proceed to your designated meeting location. If coworkers are still inside, notify emergency personnel. Do not attempt to re-enter the building to rescue coworkers. Stay out of the building until police or fire officials say it is safe to re-enter.
If You Are Unable to Evacuate
If you cannot escape safely, remain calm and protect yourself by following the steps below:
- Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
- Seal all cracks where smoke can enter by using wet materials such as jackets or towels.
- If you have access to a telephone, call 911 and tell them exactly where you are.
- Wait at a window if possible and signal for help by waving an object that can be seen from the outside.
- If possible, open a window for air, but do not break it as you may need to close the window if smoke rushes in.
- Remain calm while waiting for emergency personnel to rescue you.