Fire Safety

Every building has a fire alarm system — smoke detectors in each room and in the hallways, strobe horns that sound and flash when the alarm system is activated, emergency lights that go on when the electrical power goes out, exit lights, and pull stations — red boxes near most exit doors where you can sound an alarm.

Locate and memorize your building’s “Designated Assembly Area” (posted with fire exit diagrams).
Be familiar with all principal and alternate exits from your building, as well as the main routes to all exits.
Battery-powered smoke detectors have been installed in each room for your safety (as prescribed by state law). Only fire safety personnel may remove or alter detectors.

What to do in case of fire

If you hear a fire alarm or you see or smell a fire, do the following:

  • Close windows and doors to your room as you leave.
  • Proceed in a brisk, orderly manner to the nearest available exit. Running is prohibited. Do not stop for personal belongings. Never assume that you’re hearing a false alarm. Always leave the building.
  • At the exit, pull the face plate on the red pull station to sound the alarm.
  • Once outside, go to the nearest building to call the Fire Department (911) and Campus Security (472-1115 or ext. 1115).
  • Then go to an open area away from any building. Do not go back in your building until there is an official All Clear.

Fire safety housing regulations

All residents should follow the following regulations:

  • Exits and corridors must remain unobstructed at all times. Chains or fasteners on exit doors are prohibited.
  • No items may be stored in boiler or furnace rooms.
  • Cooking is not permitted in residence hall rooms.
  • Smoking is not allowed anywhere on campus.
  • Lobbies must remain clear of all clothing.
  • Fire alarms and emergency exit alarms may not be disabled.
  • No open flames are allowed in campus dormitories, student rooms, or common areas.

NOTE: Substantial fines are levied against those who violate the above mentioned safety regulations.

Fire safety precautions

  • Use appropriate holders for incense.
  • When you leave the room, extinguish any burning materials and turn off lights and electrical appliances (especially irons).
  • One possible cause of fires on campus is the use of sesame seed oil. Always use extreme caution when storing towels or other linens which have absorbed oil. Never machine dry oily towels at the hot setting; this often causes the towels to heat up and catch fire. Remove clothes from dryer immediately when dry.
  • Familiarize yourself with your room and building; know where the nearest fire exit is and observe all posted regulations.
  • Take fire drills seriously. They are exercises to promote safe, smooth, arid rapid departure from your building according to the fire escape plan.

Students will be held financially responsible for any damage to University property due to negligence on their part. Smoke detectors and their batteries are required in every dorm room and must not be tampered with or damaged. Failure to comply with this State regulation will result in the offender paying for the damaged material, and possibly fines imposed by the State for tampering with life safety devices.


  • Store all your personal belongings in your own room.
  • There is a main storage area in each building for a minimum amount of boxes and luggage.
  • All items in the main storage area must have an official closet tag available from your Resident Advisor.
  • Fire safety regulations require that corridors, lounges, boiler rooms, unoccupied rooms, fire escapes, and basements must be clear.
  • During vacation periods, the Housing Office may arrange a central location for students to store items. Students’ belongings cannot be left in residential buildings over the summer vacation.
  • Fines will be levied for improperly stored items and the University assumes no responsibility for items left in undesignated areas.

Cooking and appliances

Cooking is not permitted in any residential areas not equipped with a kitchen approved by the State Fire Marshal. It is imperative that everyone follow this regulation; there will be a $50 fine for fire safety violations. Besides creating a significant fire hazard, these appliances consume large quantities of costly electricity; campus electrical systems are not designed to carry the demands of these appliances.

Only certain appliances are approved for use in residence halls. Approved appliances include:

  • Computer equipment
  • Irons (irons must be unplugged when not in use)
  • Hair dryers
  • Radios and CD/DVD/tape players
  • Televisions
  • Stereos, amplifiers
  • Refrigerator

Any item not on the above list must be approved by the Fire Safety Office, ext. 1143 or call the Safety Office at 641-472-1117 or ext. 1117.

Items not approved for residence halls:

  • Hot plates
  • Space heaters
  • Toaster ovens
  • Flammable liquids
  • Microwave ovens
  • Electric blankets
  • Crock pots
  • Rice cookers

All food prep items (pots, pans, etc.) must be left in designated kitchens and cannot be used or stored in residence hall rooms. Consult with your RA’s and Residence Hall Directors for the designated cooking areas.

Fire safety room inspections

The Fire Safety Office routinely inspects student rooms throughout the year. Notices are posted in advance to announce the time and dates so students may be prepared. However, the University reserves the right to enter rooms without prior notice.

If the condition of a room does not conform to the Fire Safety Regulations listed on this page, unapproved items will be removed from the room. There is a $50 fine for Fire Safety violations.


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