Fire Safety Information
Reresidence halls are protected by fire detection and fire fighting equipment. All residents should be familiar with the emergency escape plan for their residence hall and the location of fire extinguishers.
Tampering with any fire detection or fire fighting equipment is a violation of state laws as well as college policy. Tampering with fire equipment (extinguishers, detectors, sprinklers, etc.) can create a life-threatning situation by preventing the equipment from properly detecting a possible fire, or the ability to attempt to extinguish or control a fire before additional equipment can arrive.
General Statement Regarding Student Resident Housing
At Dickinson College, 98% of student sleeping rooms are equipped with a smoke detector that is connected to a supervised fire alarm system. Student sleeping rooms are defined as the actual room in which the occupants live and sleep. 92% of student housing fire alarm systems, if activated, result in a signal being transmitted to a monitored location, and Public Safety investigates and notifies the local fire departments as appropriate. Fire alarms systems are monitored 24 hours/day, seven days/week by Public Safety.
Fire Safety Improvements and Upgrades
Dickinson College Public Safety, Facilities Management, the Office of Campus Life, and Environmental Health and Safety annually reviews the fire systems in our residence halls and will make upgrades, repairs or revisions when problems are identified.
Residence Hall Fire Drills
Fire drills are held once a semester for each residence hall. Fire drills are a mandatory supervised evacuation of a building for a fire. The fire drill is scheduled with the Department of Public Safety, and the individual residence hall staff. The supervised fire drill is generally scheduled within the first 3 weeks of the beginning of each semester. Students who fail to leave the building during a fire drill may be fined and the incident is turned over to the Office of Student Conduct.
These drills are done to check that the alarm system is working properly and to give the residents a chance to hear the alarm and so they will be able to recognize it in the event of an actual alarm. The alarm systems in the buildings have a loud audible bell or horn, and flashing strobe lights. These tests also give the residents an oppertunity to become familiar with the evacuation procedures.
Reporting a Fire
Students reporting a fire should call 911. When an alarm is activated there are a few steps to follow:
• Remain calm and close the widows in the room.
• Take only clothing that will be needed for the type of weather conditions that exist. Do not try and
collect personal items to take with you.
• Turn off any electrical items you made have on at the time, including lights and a stove/oven.
• Stay low if you are going through smoke or toxic fumes.
• Leave by the nearest exit. When a fire alarm is active any door to the building may be used to
exit so long as it is safe to do so.
• Do not use elevators. Use only the stairs.
• Never attempt to go back into the building even if the alarm stops sounding. Wait until a Public Safety
Officer has cleared the building and given the permission to re-enter.
• In an actual emergency if you are trapped and not able to exit a room or the building, yell for help and
call the Department of Public Safety at ext. 1111 or 1349 using a phone in the building or your cellular
phone. Be sure you can give your location in the build as best as you can so an officer can locate and
Fire Life Safety Education
All residence halls are equipped with fire detection and firefighting equipment. All residents should familiarize themselves with the emergency escape plan for their residence hall. Throughout the year fire alarm systems will be tested to ensure they are in working order. When an alarm sounds (alarms sound different depending on what building you’re in), all occupants must vacate the facility for their own safety and so fire fighters may work undisturbed. In the event of an actual fire, the local fire department will notify residents when it is safe to re-enter a building. Students should assume all alarms are actual emergencies and respond accordingly.
Campus Life policy on fire safety is to prohibit usage of electrical cooking appliances, candles, and specific electrical equipment in individual rooms. Candles or open flames are prohibited in residence halls.
Residence Hall Safety Standards:
1. Cooking appliances may only be used and stored in kitchen area
• Hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, “George Forman Grills”, barbeques, and similar devices are
2. Hazardous electrical appliances, lamps and lighting
• No space heaters, private air conditioners, halogen floor lamps, decorative lighting, or any
appliance with open heating coils; all appliances must be UL approved
3. Hazardous electrical wiring, outlet adaptors or similar
• No un-fused multiple outlet adaptors, extension cords or other wiring run under carpeting
• Multiple outlet strips (power strips) may be use, if fused, grounded, and use no less than gauge wire
4. Spark or flame producing items: candles, incense burners or similar
• No candles (decorative or otherwise), incense, incense burners, oil / liquid fuel lamps, scented
oil burners, or similar...
5. Flammable/combustible liquids, gases or similar
• No oil, gasoline, white gas, propane / liquid propane (LP) tanks, lighter fluids
• No combustion engines, generators, motorcycles, mopeds, motorized skateboards or similar
• No fireworks or similar combustible/explosive devices
6. Tampering with/hindering fire protection equipment
• No removal, covering, or other disabling of smoke / heat detectors
• No removal, covering or other tampering with fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems or similar
• No hanging of items from fire protection devices or sprinkler systems
7. Improper storage of property within a residence
• No storage of motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles, large auto parts or other non-residential property
within a residence
• No storing of bicycles within stair towers, hallways, common lounges or individual rooms
8. Tapestries or other similar items
• No hanging of tapestries or similar products from ceilings or bunked beds
9. Watch for other health & safety concerns:
• Electrical appliances, or wiring
• Furniture arrangement blocking egress
• Blocking of fire exits / routes of escape
10. Unauthorized furnishings/or use of/ modifications to
• Unless specifically designed to do so, beds may not be lofted. Mattresses may not be placed
directly on the floor.
• Additional furnishings must meet all federal / state fire resistance standards
11. Unauthorized appliances or similar
• No other “large” appliances are authorized within a residential room.
• No private air conditioners.
12. Unauthorized modifications to structure, facility
• No fabrication of walls, partitions, false ceilings/floors.
• No “painting” or similar modifications to a residence.
• No affixing items/objects to the exterior of a residence
Tampering with fire fighting or detection equipment is a serious offense. Discharging fire extinguishers or setting off fire alarms under false pretenses has life threatening implications. In addition to any criminal action, the College reserves the right to file disciplinary charges as outlined in the Community Standards. The minimal fine for a first offense is $200.00 plus the cost of restoring the equipment to its original condition.
Fire, Health and Safety Inspections
The Office of Campus Life regularly conducts inspections of each residential area on campus. Student rooms are given a brief inspection during the fall and spring semesters. The purpose of these inspections is to provide the appropriate education and assist with correcting any fire, health or safety concerns. Policy violations that are discovered during these inspections may be referred to the college’s conduct system and prohibited items may be confiscated. Students with questions about these inspections should speak with the Office of Campus Life.
A fire log is available at the Public Safety Department.
The college promotes a smoke-free environment, and smoking is permitted only in outdoor areas of the campus not within 25 feet of a building. No smoking is allowed in any building on campus. This includes private offices, residence hall rooms and public buildings. Smoking is also prohibited in college vehicles. The success of this policy depends on the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of smokers and nonsmokers. In all cases, the right of nonsmokers to protect their health will take precedence over a smoker’s desire to smoke.
Ordinary combustibles or fibrous material such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber and some plastics.
-Extinguish ordinary combustibles by cooling the material below its ignition temperature and soaking the fibers to prevent re-ignition. Use pressurized water, foam or multi-purpose (ABC rated) dry chemical extinguisher. DO NOT USE carbon dioxide or ordinary (BC-rated) dry chemical extinguisher on Class A fires.
Flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, paint, paint thinner and propane.
-Extinguish flammable liquids, greases by removing the oxygen, preventing the vapors from reaching the ignition source or inhibiting the chemical chain reaction. Foam, carbon dioxide, ordinary (BC-rated) dry chemical, multi-purpose dry chemical, and halon extinguishers may be used to fight Class B fires.
Energized electrical equipment, such as appliances, switches, panel boxes and power tools.
-Extinguish energized electrical equipment by using an extinguishing agent that is not capable of conducting electrical current. Carbon dioxide, ordinary (BC-rated) dry chemical, multi-purpose dry chemical and halon* fire extinguishers may be used to fight Class C fires. DO NOT USE WATER EXTINGUISHERS ON ENERGIZED ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT.
Certain combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium. These metals burn at high temperatures and give off sufficient oxygen to support combustion. They may react violently with water or other chemicals, and must be handled with care.
-Extinguish combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium with dry powder extinguishing agents specially designated for the material involved. In most cases, they absorb the heat from the material, cooling it below its ignition temperature.
Use of a Portable Extinguisher:
REMEMBER THE ACRONYM, “P.A.S.S.”
P ……...Pull the Pin
A ……...Aim the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the flame.
S ………Squeeze trigger while holding the extinguisher upright.
S ………Sweep the extinguisher from side to side, covering the area of the fire with the
*NOTE: PULL A FIRE ALARM BOX AND ALERT OTHERS BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER.