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Fire Prevention

You Play a Part

We are truly committed to your safety. As many students live together in close proximity within our residence houses, each resident plays an important role in fire prevention and safety. The following policies are designed to aid in fire prevention and protect the safety of all residents.

In addition to the information on this page, the University Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) offers additional safety policies and residence hall fire safety information, and can assist in answering questions. Contact or call 434.243.1711. EHS will also perform courtesy inspections upon request.

Smoke Free Residence Areas

All residence areas are designated as smoke-free facilities. Smoking is not permitted within any part of residence areas or within 25 feet of the buildings. This includes exterior balconies, stairways, steps, and entrances.

Electrical/Appliance Cords

  • Power strips (including bed risers with built-in power outlets) must be UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved and have a built-in circuit breaker and on/off switch. Power strips may not be used in series to create a longer cord. Power strips must not hang by the cord, but should be supported on the floor or on another flat surface.
  • All electrical cords must be out of the way of foot traffic. Electrical cords may not be placed across the middle of the floors, hallways, doorways, etc., or underneath area rugs or clothing.
  • Please see our What to Bring page for infomration about appliances that are permitted or prohibited in on-Grounds housing.

Doors and Egress

  • Doors must be able to open all the way. Do not place furniture, clothing, or any object behind doors that will prevent them from opening all the way.
  • Trash, recycle bins, and boxes are not to be placed in the hallways, stairwells, or lounge areas. Trash must be disposed of immediately.
  • Over-the-door shoe racks, towel racks, mirrors, or other hanging devices on doors are not permitted.
  • Door mats or area rugs are not permitted in hallways. Any combustible material on doors or hallways walls is prohibited.
  • Shoes, clothing, gym bags, boxes, furniture, may not block egress.
  • Stairwell landings or the areas under stairwells may not be used for storage.
  • Bicycles may not be stored in suites, apartments, hallways, stairwells or study lounges. Bicycles may be stored in student bedrooms as long as the means of egress is maintained.
  • No motorized vehicles may be stored indoors.
  • Doors may not be propped open with wedges or other items when the room is unattended.

Flame and Flammable Materials

  • Trash, clutter or combustibles on the floor are not permitted. These items so positiond constitute a fire hazard.
  • No occupant or visitor may light or kindle any type of fire within a residence area, with the exception of fireplaces on the Lawn or Range.
  • Prior to fireplace use, Lawn and Range residents must attend fireplace training. Training dates and times will be distributed through resident staff.
  • Lighter fluid, gasoline, propane, or other flammable liquids are prohibited within residence halls.
  • Possession of candles and incense is prohibited.

Smoke Detectors and Fire Safety Equipment

Residents living in rooms with battery-operated smoke detectors must perform a monthly test. The first Tuesday of each month has been designated "Test Tuesday" for manually testing these detectors.

Housing & Residence Life provides visual smoke detectors for the hearing impaired. If you require one, please submit a work order request to Facilities Management.

Altering or tampering with heating, electrical, and fire safety devices or systems is prohibited. This includes but is not limited to smoke detectors, fire alarm systems, and fire extinguishers. Smoke alarms may not be taken down, covered, or have their batteries removed.

Inspections and Enforcement

The State Fire Marshal inspects each residential area annually for fire code violations. Any area found to be in violation shall be re-inspected, and any resident still in violation of code or Housing & Residence Life regulations is subject to judicial action and possible removal from University housing.

Residents will receive e-mail notification when the inspections will occur. Residents of spaces found in violation will receive notice via e-mail of the violation, and a resident staff member will follow up on the violation. Spaces in violation will be re-inspected until the violation is corrected. You can check the status of a violation at the Fire Safety Inspections page.

In the event that a resident fails to remove articles considered to impose immediate hazards or serious threat to life or property, these articles will be removed by University staff.