Access Control


Fire Safety Tips in Residence Hall




For non-emergency fire safety and prevention assistance, call X3842 to contact:

Patrick Westropp, Fire Inspector
Dan Ivan, Fire Inspector

In the United States, college and university students living on campus in residence halls have been experiencing a growth in the number of fire-related emergencies. In just seconds, sparks or a small flame can become a large fire.

There are approximately 1,300 fires that occur in high schools and college and university residence halls. These fires have resulted in less than five deaths, approximately 50 injuries and over $4 million in property losses. Most fires in residence halls occur between the hours of 1:00 am and 7:00 am. Cooking represents a leading cause of residence hall fires second only to arson.

Three basic elements must be present for a fire to occur – an ignition source, fuel and air.

Potential Fuel Sources in Residence Halls

  • Upholstered furniture, mattresses and bedding
  • Drapes, curtains and combustible free hanging decorations
  • Combustible walls, ceilings and flooring
  • Books, notebooks, and other paper products
  • Trash and recycling materials
  • Clothing

Potential Ignition Sources in Residence Halls

  • Cooking equipment and appliances
  • Electric lamps, appliances and space heaters
  • Smoking materials
  • Candles and incense
  • Arson or other incendiary devices

Residence Hall Fact Sheet

  • Space Heaters are prohibited in residence halls
  • Smoking is prohibited in residence halls, and within twenty feet of entrance/exit doorways to all campus buildings.
  • Sanctions can be levied against students for “negligent cooking”, which includes but is not limited to possession of an appliance that is not permitted in residence halls, leaving an appliance unattended while in use or not using proper ventilation while cooking. Student aanctions range from assigned community service in fire safety related duties and disciplinary probations to restitution in the form of fines.
  • Do not overload electrical circuits. Plug in refrigerators, microwaves and other appliances directly into wall sockets – do not use with extension cords.
  • Extension cords in use must be in good condition and have proper ratings for their use. These cords should not be spliced, run through doors or under carpeting.
  • Emergency exit doors should not be blocked by furniture or obstructions of any kind.
  • Abuse, tampering or misuse of fire safety system components including fire alarms, pull stations, sprinklers, smoke detectors or fire extinguishers is strictly forbidden.
  • Students must evacuate during all fire alarms. Delayed evacuation can result in becoming trapped or in serious injury.
  • Promptly report observed hazards to residence assistants.
  • Know location of fire alarm pull stations, primary and secondary emergency exits and evacuation meeting sites outside the building.
  • Never use elevators for a building evacuation during a fire emergency.
  • Do not attempt to re-enter the building unless the all-clear signal is given by the emergency response personnel (CSU Police, Cleveland Fire Department or Campus Safety).