Fire Safety

fire equipment

General Fire Safety Standards

Resident Rooms

  • Extension cords in the residence halls must have a built in in-line fuse, circuit breaker, or overload protection.
  • Do not run electrical cords under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas.
  • Do not staple electrical cords to walls or otherwise pierce the cord.
  • Keep flammable objects away from heat producing items such as coffee makers.
  • Place rugs in a location that does not hinder the opening and closing of doors.
  • Do not hang objects from sprinkler heads.
  • Do not tamper with or disable smoke detectors.
  • Do not store or stack items should within 18” of a sprinkler head.
  • Do not cover more than 20% of your room door with paper or other decorative items.
  • Rope or string lights or neon signs are not allowed in resident rooms. 


  • Know where the fire extinguisher is and how to use it.
  • Do not leave food unattended on the stove.

Laundry Room

  • Remove lint from the dryer filter after every use.
  • Do not prop open laundry room doors.

Fire Equipment

Fire and safety equipment must function properly when it is needed; therefore, the following acts are prohibited:

  • Tampering with, playing with, or obstructing fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, sprinkler heads, pull stations, exit lights, or emergency lights.
  • Tampering with or pulling a fire alarm under false pretenses.
  • Removing smoke detector batteries or otherwise rendering a smoke detector inoperative.
  • Propping open stairwell fire doors or tampering with corridor fire doors.
  • Obstructing halls and stairwells with furniture, debris, and/or other items.


Electrical appliances must be used and maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications in safe working condition and should require no more than 1000 watts. RAs may ask residents to remove approved appliances that are overly noisy or disturbing. With the few exceptions listed below, appliances with exposed heating elements (e.g., electric woks, Hibachi grills, camping stoves, Fry Daddys, toasters, toaster ovens, griddles) are not permitted in the residence halls. Because of their unique living arrangements, residents at College Inn, Honors Hall, Legends Hall, Mozart Square, and Santa Fe Square may use toaster ovens and toasters.

Approved appliances include the following:

  • George Foreman-type grills, quesadilla makers, sandwich makers, panini grills, rice cookers, coffee pots, cup warmers, and crock-pots
  • Small oscillating fans
  • Small refrigerators (mini fridges)
  • Microwave ovens
  • Electric space heaters with automatic turn-off and tip-over safety cut-offs (should be UL listed and not more than 1500 Watts)
  • Hair dryers, curling irons, straighteners, and irons (must always be unplugged when not in use or when the resident leaves the room)

Candles/Scent Producers

Residents may not ignite any substance inside the residence halls at any time. This includes but is not limited to decorative candles, candles used for religious worship, and incense. A $50 fine may be assessed the first time a candle or incense is found in a resident's room; a $100 fine may be assessed for each additional offense. Students may use air fresheners such as reed diffusers, sprays, and beads. Plug in air fresheners are allowed as long as they do not have an extra outlet integrated into the unit. Heated elements that could be left unattended for long periods of time (such as wickless candles on a heated melter or scented light bulb rings) and which require heat to release scent are prohibited.

Extension and Electrical Cords

Residents may only use extension cords or multiple plug adaptors/power strips with an in line fuse or circuit breaker and overload protection. All other extension cords are prohibited. Residents may not plug an extension cord or adaptor/power strip into another extension cord or adaptor/power strip. Questions pertaining to approved types of extension cords should be directed to an RA and/or Hall Director.

Residents may not run electrical cords under rugs, over nails, or in high traffic areas. Electrical cords may not be stapled to walls or otherwise pierced.


Resident room decorations must comply with all Housing policies stated in this Handbook and must not create an unsafe living environment or cause damage to the room. Decorations may not completely or partially block vents, peepholes, or windows. The top edge of posters must be hung at least two feet from the ceiling. Residents must be able to provide a receipt for purchase of street signs. Street signs not supported by proof of purchase will be delivered to the campus police or other proper authority. Decorations should be agreed upon by all roommates.

Explosives/Flammable Fluids

Residents may not possess firecrackers, fireworks, explosives, flammable fluids/chemicals/materials, or pyrotechnics of any nature on university premises, including in residence halls or the surrounding grounds.


The following lamps are considered safe and are permitted in resident rooms:

  • non-halogen desk lamps
  • lava lamps
  • black lights

The following lamps are not permitted in resident rooms:

  • halogen lamps (due to heat they generate)
  • non-halogen desk lamps with an extra outlet in the base
  • lights or lamps that hang from the wall or ceiling
  • rope or string lights
  • neon signs


Residents may not ignite any substance, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes or hookas, in the residence halls or on the balconies and stairways at College Inn. University policy prohibits smoking in any and all University owned facilities and also prohibits smoking within 25 feet of any building entrance. Residents found smoking in a residence hall or within 25 feet of a residence hall entrance will be assessed a $50 fine for the first violation. A $100 fine will be assessed for each additional violation in addition to more serious disciplinary measures. Residents are responsible for discarding cigarette butts and ashes in the appropriate receptacles.