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Fire Safety Guidelines

To comply with local and state codes and to observe prudent safety precautions, UAS Residence Life personnel will enforce the following fire safety regulations below. For a list of approved electrical items see the Appliances and Equipment section.

  1. Open flames, including candles, incense, kerosene lamps or stoves, and other similar items are not permitted in any university housing unit. Jar candles may be placed on electric candle warmers, though residents are reminded not to leave the warmer unattended or plugged in for extended periods.

  2. No flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, propane, or similar substances may be stored in any university-owned or approved housing unit. Turpentine, kerosene, paint thinner, and similar flammable substances used for camping or art classes may be stored in storage rooms or bathrooms in small quantities, no more than one half-gallon. These should not be stored near heaters or any heat-producing appliances, nor should they be kept in a fashion where they might tip or spill. Additionally, such substances can only be stored in the approved containers in which they were sold. Any flammable substances found in university housing that violate this policy will be confiscated and disciplinary action will be taken against those responsible for storing such substances.

  3. No paneling or excessive tapestry is permitted in university housing.

  4. Smoke sensors are not to be covered or blocked.

  5. Tampering with the wiring or components of the fire alarm system is NOT permitted. Fire extinguishers are not to be removed from their proper locations, including the wall-mounted extinguishers in apartments, or to be discharged except in the event of a fire emergency. There is a $50-100 fine and disciplinary action for tampering with fire safety equipment, including smoke and heat detectors, pull-boxes, alarms and sirens, sprinkler heads, extinguishers, or fire panels.

  6. Fire doors and any other doors with closing mechanisms are to be kept closed at all times except in the event of fire emergency. Fire exits, including foyers at each end of Banfield Hall corridors, may not be blocked with any furniture or objects. They must remain clean and empty at all times.

  7. Only university wiring is allowed in residence hall rooms and apartments, and only a reasonable number of standard U.L. approved extension cords may be used. Extension cords must be 10 amp or larger, #18 wire with SPT2 plastic insulation and molded ends and not more than twelve feet long. Students should take caution not to overload extension cords and circuits with too many large appliances; televisions, stereos, microwaves, freezers, and other such appliances should be given their own extension cord or be plugged directly into the wall electrical outlet. All approved heat-producing appliances such as hair dryers, coffee pots, popcorn poppers and irons must be plugged directly into wall outlets and unplugged when not in use.

  8. Extension cords must be exposed at all times; they may not be placed under carpets or rubber molding.

  9. Flammable holiday decorations such as real Christmas trees, wreaths or garland made from spruce boughs, and untreated bunting are not permitted in university housing units.

  10. No partitions or wall-like structures are to be installed in housing units by students.

  11. Nothing is allowed to block, even partially, any means of egress, including doorways and windows. Furniture placed in front of windows must not be higher than will allow for access to the window sill and for individuals to easily climb over the furniture to escape through the window.

  12. Safety signs and markings are not to be tampered with or defaced.

  13. The use of space heaters in student units is not permitted. Unauthorized space heaters will be confiscated.

  14. Scarves and fabric may not be placed over lamps or paper lanterns. Homemade lamps may be subject to approval or confiscation by Residence Life Staff if they pose a high fire risk. See Appliances and Equipment about the halogen lamp policy.

  15. Furniture must not rest against room heaters. Wooden furniture such as desks or dressers should be kept at least 4 inches from heaters. Plush furniture, draperies, bedding, books, paper items, and other more flammable objects and furnishings should be kept 6 inches from heaters. It may be necessary to lay a block of wood or another such object on the floor in front of heaters to prevent seating furniture or beds from shifting up against heaters. Residents should also realize that room heaters are most effective at circulating heat when there are not furnishings in front of them obstructing proper air flow.

  16. Posters, artwork, photos, and other flammable paper decorations should cover no more than one third of a room’s total wall space.

Fire Safety & Alarms

Prompt and complete evacuation of residential campus buildings and facilities is MANDATORY when a fire alarm is sounded or when so directed by a University official, which includes Community Advisors (CAs).

Resident/Guest Required Evacuation During Alarm

Residents and guests are expected to depart the building quickly and to stand outside no less than 100 yards from the building just evacuated.  Residents should treat all alarms are a real safety threat and evacuate the building.  Only a University official may issue the “all clear” command, allowing re-entry to the building.

Failure to Evacuate or Failure to Comply with Staff Directive During an Alarm

Individuals who fail to comply with the evacuation provision will be subject to disciplinary action and a $250 fine.

Fire Alarm System

Housing has a heat/smoke sensitive fire alarm system that is maintained regularly.  For safety sake, the good news is that this new system is highly sensitive and on-guard.  The bad news is that it is so sensitive that caution should be used to avoid unnecessary alarms.  See the tips below.

Avoiding Accidental Alarms           

This system is extremely sensitive, so it is imperative to use cautionary measures to avoid unnecessary alarms.


When cooking, especially when frying or sautéing, use the exhaust hood over the stove to redirect smoke up and out of the exhaust.

Heat & Smoke Sensors

Tampering with the sensors, including removing the sensor or covering the sensor, may set off trouble alarms, which will notify Residence Life Staff of the location of the compromised sensor.  Heat-emitting appliances, such as hair dryers, have been known to set off trouble alarms when a blast of hot air hits the sensor.  Additionally, sensor “oxygen deprivation” from having been covered with plastic, thus restricting air flow (i.e. by someone smoking in the unit), has also be a suspect for triggering alarms.

Fire Sprinkler Systems

Banfield Hall and the Housing Lodge maintain sprinkler systems that are both sensitive to heat and pressure.  Residents should not tamper with sprinkler heads or hang items from these fixtures.  If the sprinkler system is engaged, it would likely cause a minimum of $10,000 in damages with its initial burst before it could be stopped.  


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