Fire Safety & You!
According to the United States Fire Administration Americans experience the tragedy of fire every day, but most don't understand fire. Only when we know the true nature of fire can we prepare ourselves and our families. Each year more than 3,500 Americans die and approximately 18,300 are injured in fires, many of which could be prevented.
A Simple Rule to live by: Never ignore a fire alarm!
If you suspect a fire or if the fire alarm sounds:
- Your first action should be to grab your room keys. Be sure to alert any other occupants of the room.
- Roll out of bed and crawl to the door. Stay low to avoid smoke and super heated gases that may have entered your room.
- Feel the doorknob or higher on the door with the back of your hand. If it feels hot, do not open it-the fire may be on the other side of the door. If it is not hot, open slowly. If trapped on upper floors put a wet cloth under closed door to help prevent the spread of smoke. If you have a phone in your room or from your cell phone dial 9-1-1 and tell the operator the following: Dorm name, room number, and that you are trapped in the room and need to be rescued. Stay on the phone until the fire department arrives at your room.
- If the hallway is clear of smoke, walk to the nearest fire exit and evacuate the building. Close your door behind you. Leave the fire fighting to the professionals.
- Pull the fire alarm on your way out of the building if the alarm horn is not already sounding.
- Call Public Safety by dialing 9-1-1 from a safe place and report the nature and location of the fire.
- Do not attempt to extinguish a fire unless you are trained to do so.
- Do not return inside the building until instructed.
We prohibit tampering with, removing, covering, altering or defacing safety/evacuation signs and markings simply in order to prevent them from becoming obscured. An "EXIT" sign is only useful if it can be seen and read.
The regulation prohibits removing a fire extinguisher from its proper location or discharging it when there is no emergency. While extinguishers are sometimes discharged, they are more frequently used as doorstops or for some similar purpose. Why is that a big deal? Because if the fire extinguisher is not located where it's supposed to be, someone in an emergency situation may not be able to find it. And, of course, if an extinguisher is discharged by someone who treats it like a toy, it is not available for use in a fire emergency until it has been recharged.
Fire Protection systems
All of the life safety systems in the room are there to alert the resident(s) in case of an emergency. Please don’t cover a smoke detector intentionally, or arrange items in a room in such a way as to block the flow of smoke toward it, or the smoke detector cannot function.
Do not cover or hang an item on a sprinkler head, this will not allow the sprinkler to function as intended. Also, the placing of an item on any component of the sprinkler system may weaken and damage it. As a result, the room may become flooded as a result from this action. Should a fire occur while the smoke detector and/or sprinkler head is covered or blocked, persons in the building will not be warned because the alarm will not be activated.
The carbon monoxide detectors are in some buildings due to the presence of a solid fuel burning device (i.e. gas fired appliance, fireplace, etc.). If the detector is covered or tampered with, it cannot function as intended.
Tapestries and other wall coverings
There are probably as many questions about the tapestries and wall coverings regulation as there are about anything in the whole policy. Let's take it item by item.
Tapestries and other wall coverings must be hung vertically, not horizontally, in order to avoid providing fuel for a fire, which begins in one part of the room and could travel across the ceiling if it had a vehicle like a tapestry. Secondly, a horizontal tapestry, if set afire, will fall onto anyone who is in the room. Tapestries may not be draped from wall to wall, but must be installed flat to walls because they will not catch fire as quickly as they will when hanging loosely.
Wall coverings must be located not closer than 18" to any heat source. This practice will decrease the chance of a fire caused by a wall covering coming into contact with any heat source. This includes lights, receptacles, and any other heat source.
Spaces must be left between all wall coverings. The University requires there be a minimum of 6" between items, making it more difficult for a fire to travel throughout a room