Fire Safety

3341-2-12 Fire Safety

All University Units

Responsible Unit:
Office of Residence Life

Policy Administrator:
Director of Residence Life

(A) Policy Statement and Purpose

The purpose is to articulate to students living in on campus housing that they must leave their residence when the fire alarm sounds, that no one is to tamper with fire safety equipment, when and how residence with fire places may use them, and that roofs, ledges and sundecks may only be utilized as fire escapes.

(B) Policy

(1) Candles Candles of any kind (whether lit or unlit) or any other open flame devices are not permitted in any residential building (residence hall or small group living units), including but not limited to student rooms and all common area space, at any time, for any purpose whatsoever.

(2) Decorative trees

(a) Live or cut trees or greens (branches, boughs, etc.) are not permitted in university-owned buildings.

(b) Artificial trees must be of a certified slow-burning or fire resistant material. Trees not meeting this standard will not be permitted.

(c) Artificial trees may be located in student rooms as long as the tree does not exceed two feet in height.

(d) Metallic trees shall be lit only by indirect lighting. Lighting sets are not to be hung on metallic trees (possible shock hazard).

(3) Fire Drills/Alarms and Emergency Evacuation

Fire drills are scheduled periodically during normal working hours in university residences in compliance with state regulations. Every time the fire alarm sounds it must be treated as a real fire and you must evacuate immediately. All persons must vacate the residence any time the fire alarm is sounded or an emergency situation arises that requires the evacuation of the building. All individuals in the building must follow the directions of the staff and other emergency personnel and may not re-enter the building until the supervisor of the residence gives permission. University, state or city officials may enter rooms to verify evacuation of residents.

(4) Fire Safety Equipment

Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, sprinklers, and fire alarm systems are there for the protection of residents and should be treated with the well-being of all residents in mind. All fire safety equipment (e.g., pull stations, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, sprinklers) should be used for emergency purposes only. Smoke detectors and sprinklers throughout the residence hall are not to be disconnected or covered under any circumstances, nor should anything be hung from them. Tampering with fire safety equipment is a crime and will result in university conduct action, possible criminal action, fines, and fees. 

(5) Removal of Fire Hazards

The university reserves the right to eliminate all potential fire hazards in any residence if deemed necessary or appropriate by a university official or by other authorities that have jurisdiction.

(6) Fireplaces

For university residences with fireplaces, policies and regulations regarding their maintenance and use are posted near each fireplace. In the spirit of community, all students who reside in buildings with fireplaces are responsible for knowing and implementing all policies and procedures regarding their use.

(7) Lighting

(a) Crepe paper or other materials are not to be wrapped around lights.

(b) Building light bulbs are not to be painted or moved. Commercially manufactured colored bulbs may be used if positioned by custodial or maintenance employees.

(c) Only use lighting sets that show Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA) label.

(d) Decorative lights used inside buildings must be “miniature” types.

(e) Lighting sets can wear out or become damaged and should be checked closely before installation for bare wires, worn insulation, broken plugs, loose sockets, etc.

(f) Extension cords are not permitted in student residences. Power strips with surge protectors must be used in place of extension cords.

(g) Be sure circuits are not overloaded with too many lights. If circuit breakers shut off or fuses are blown, there may be a short or an overloaded circuit.

(h) Lighted decorations must not be left on and unattended.

(i) There should be no pinch in electrical cords. For instance, electrical cords should not be run through door openings.

(j) Decorative lights must not be tightly coiled, wrapped around or pinched, such as under or around a bedpost.

(8) Electrical Appliances and Electronic Equipment

Limitations in the availability of power to each room/suite/apartment as well as concern for fire hazards place restrictions on the types of equipment allowed in student rooms/suites/apartments. For this reason, cooking is only permitted in student rooms/suites/apartments in approved combination microwave/refrigerators, or in microwave ovens using 900 watts or less. Residents will be held responsible for ensuring that their electrical appliances and electronic equipment conform to the following guidelines:

(a) Approved electrical and electronic equipment and appliances are:

(i) Combination microwave/refrigerator units.

(ii) Compact portable refrigerators (size may not exceed 5.0 cubic feet, 36 inches in height and 1.5 amps).

(iii) Microwave ovens that do not exceed 900 watts.

(iv) Powerstrips with surge protectors. Please do not plug one power strip into another.

(v) Televisions, stereos, CD players, computers and peripherals and other sensitive electronic equipment.

(vi) All electrical appliances must be UL or CSA approved and used with a surge protector.

(b) Appliances with exposed heating elements. Among other things this includes the “George Foreman Grill” and all similar devices:

(i) Hot plates, toasters and toaster ovens

(ii) Air conditioners

(iii) Quartz halogen lights

(iv) Portable heaters

(v) Extension cords

(vi) Multi-plug adapters

(vii) Electric blankets

(9) Roofs, Ledges and Sundecks

Safety concerns restrict access by students to roofs, ledges and sundecks of university residences. Access to roofs, ledges and sundecks is prohibited outside of their use as fire evacuation routes. In addition, radio and television antennae, satellite dishes or similar devices are not permitted on the roofs, ledges or any building exterior without university approval.

(10) Special Amusement Buildings

Bowling Green City Fire Department regulations prohibit haunted houses and similar amusement or educational events in which building occupants or the general public are conducted through a fixed or restricted course. This also applies to creating or building these types of structures on residence hall floors or in common areas.

(11) Wall and Door Decorations

You may make your room feel more like home by putting posters and pictures on the wall. White adhesive putty is the recommended way to do this. Avoid the use of two-sided tape, colored putty, or nails as these items create residue that must be removed or holes that must be filled. No more than 50% of the surface area may be covered.

(12) Decorations

In an effort to maintain an environment that is safe and free of potential fire and other life safety hazards, residents are asked by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety to adhere to the following decoration guidelines within the residence, whether within their own rooms/suites/apartments or within the common areas of the building:

(a) All decorations shall be fire resistant, or noncombustible (Ohio Fire Code, FM-306.1-5). Decorations must have the label of Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or similar standard.

(b) No decorations may be hung from the ceiling, placed in offices, rooms or lounges in a manner that will interfere with safe passage or evacuation. No decorations shall be placed in hallways, aisles, stairwells or exit routes. Room doors may have a minimal amount of decorations and must comply with paragraph 1a above.

(c) Exit signs, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alarm pulls, emergency lights, PED boxes and audible fire signals/ strobe lights cannot be decorated, covered or obstructed in any way.

(d) Straw, hay, leaves, corn shocks and dry vegetation are not permitted in any building.

(e) Excessive dirt or sand is not permitted in any building.

(f) Further information on university policies regarding the use of decorations in university residences is available from the hall or unit director.

Registered Date: March 12, 2015
Amended Date: September 15, 2016