Fire Safety and Community Responsibilities

Residence Hall Fire and Life Safety Community Responsibilities

Living in a community living environment calls upon all of its members to ensure that the community is safe. Fire Safety is particularly important because it affects the entire community.  Your cooperation in following good fire and life safety practices will ensure that all residents have a safe and comfortable living environment. 

Community Practices and Policies

The following are prohibited in the residence halls:

  • Cigarette smoking in all areas of the building, including balconies
  • Open flames, candles (wick or wickless) and incense
  • Unapproved electrical appliances — hotplates, electric skillets, George Foreman grills, rice cookers, deep fryers, toaster ovens or broilers, microwaves (except in common area kitchen or apartment), space heaters, sun lamps, halogen lamps, Christmas lights or decorative string lights
  • Live holiday trees and greenery

Residents must avoid the following:

  • Outlet overloads and improper use of extension cords
  • Obstruction of the room smoke detector and sprinkler head
  • Keeping combustible materials around an electrical source
  • Propping room and stairwell doors, or de-activating room door closures
  • Wrapping room doors partially or fully, i.e. with paper or cloth

Residents are responsible for the following:

  • Maintaining cleanliness of their room or space
  • Keeping doors, exits and vents unblocked and free of obstructions
  • Reporting health and safety issues to the Resident Assistant or hall front desk
  • Reporting fire equipment that is not functioning properly or shows signs of tampering should be reported to front desk or RA immediately

Fire and Life Safety Inspections

Unannounced random Fire and Life Safety Inspections will be conducted periodically by the State Fire Marshall and more regularly by the University Environmental Health and Safety Officer and residence hall staff. The intent of the inspections is to increase the level of safety awareness of residents and identify health and safety issues. Violations found during Fire and Life Safety Inspections will result in a minimum fine of $50.00 per violation and referral to the Housing Conduct Review Board.

You play an important role in the safety of your community. Practicing good fire and safety benefits everyone.

Residential Fire and Life Safety

Emergency Procedures and Equipment

Fire Emergency

In the event of a FIRE, residents should proceed in the following manner:

  1. Call the TWU Police at 2911 and immediately notify the University Housing staff and other residents of the building, or floor, of the location of the fire by pulling the nearest pull station.
  2. When the alarm is sounded, all residents, except fire crews and others with specific assignments must leave the building IMMEDIATELY. Try the nearest exit. If the door, or door handle, is hot, do not open; remain in your living unit, keeping doors tightly closed and go to the balcony or window to await rescue by the fire department.
  3. Do NOT put water on a grease fire! Use the nearest fire extinguisher.

Fire Alarms

  • Residents are expected to evacuate the building immediately for a fire alarm, or when directed to do so. Failure to promptly obey the direction of a University Housing or civil official during an emergency will be referred to the Conduct Review Process and could be subject to fines.
  • When an individual smoke detector is activated in the residence halls, staff and/or TWU police will enter all rooms in the indicated area to determine the cause of the alarm.

Fire Safety Equipment

  • Each room and apartment has equipment necessary for the protection and notification of fire or smoke.
  • Rooms are equipped with a smoke detector, sprinkler head, and all apartments are equipped with a fire extinguisher.
  • Tampering with, or disabling, any of the fire safety equipment is prohibited!

Fire Extinguishers

  • Fire extinguishers are located in each apartment and in building hallways, and in the residence hallways. These may be used in case of a fire.
  • Depleting the safety device can leave residents defenseless in the event of a fire. Residents responsible for destructive use of an extinguisher will be charged the cost of recharging, or replacing, equipment and will be referred to the Conduct Review Process.

Fire Drills

  • Fire drills are conducted in each hall two (2) times a semester. Students are expected to leave the building upon hearing this alarm.

Medical Emergencies

In case of serious injury in the residence halls, observe the following procedures:

  1. Contact TWU Police by dialing 2911
  2. Give your name, location of the victim, and describe the nature and severity of the medical problem
  3. Do not move the injured victim, except for protection from further injury
  4. Stay with the victim until Police and ambulance arrive.
  5. If blood is present, notify University Housing staff. They will contact Facilities Management staff to clean the area.

Emergency Planning

  • Safety plans are located on the back of entrance doors in residence hall rooms and apartments.
  • Windows, hallways and doors should not be obstructed, automatic door closures should not be deactivated, and doors should not be propped open. Each of these items is part of the planning process to retain fire and allow you to escape as quickly as possible.

Fire and Life Safety Inspections

  • The TWU Safety Officer along with University Housing staff will conduct fire and life safety inspections on all campus residence halls. The inspections are unannounced and will be conducted during the school year. The intent of the inspections is to increase the level of safety and safety awareness for all occupants.
  • Safety practices in general and the items noted below will be the primary focus of the inspections. Residence hall staff appreciates your cooperation in this effort and will make every effort to minimize inconvenience to residents during these inspections.
  • Violations found during inspections will result in fines and disciplinary actions.
  • Examples of violations and fines are as follows:
    • Candles - $50.00 fine per candle. Decorative candles, with or without wicks, are prohibited
    • Poor Housekeeping or Excessive Combustible Items - $50.00 initial fine, with a daily charge of $50.00 until the violation is corrected.
    • Tampering with Fire Equipment – A minimum fine of $50.00 will be charged, but could be higher depending upon the incident.

The following areas will be reviewed during Fire and Life Safety inspections. Please remember that a minimum fine of $50.00 will be implemented for each violation.

  • Electrical:
    • Improper use of extension cord(s)
    • Cover plates missing / damaged
    • Electrical wiring frayed / damaged
    • Overloaded outlets
    • String Lights
    • Unapproved electrical appliance(s)
  • Fire Safety Equipment:
    • Obstructed room smoke detector
    • Obstructed sprinkler head
    • Obstructed fire extinguisher
    • Room smoke detector damaged
    • Room sprinkler head damaged
    • Damaged fire extinguisher
  • Housekeeping:
    • Poor housekeeping
    • Floor / wall / ceiling penetrations or holes
    • Missing / Damaged door closure
    • Gift-wrapped door
    • Live / cut trees
    • Access to outlets without the need of extension cord(s)
  • Ignition Sources :
    • Candles / Incense present
    • Flammable liquids present
    • Combustible materials around electrical source
    • Excessive fire load
      Halogen lamps
  • Emergency Planning:
    • Safety decal not on back of door
    • Windows / doors obstructed
    • De-activated door closures
    • Hallway obstructions
    • Doors chocked / propped open

Practicing good fire and life safety benefits everyone.

The University encourages students to learn about fire safety in their residence halls by attending fire safety programs, which include instructions on safety routes to be followed during an evacuation, how to determine when it is safe to exit a room when there is fire and / or smoke outside, and how to evacuate persons with physical disabilities.

Page last updated 4:52 PM, May 26, 2020