EHS & Waste Management

Fire Safety Policy Document within a University – What should it Contain?

By March 3, 2020 No Comments

This document should contain a comprehensive fire safety and protection policies, with procedures, addressing the needs and facilities of a campus , which at a minimum:

Ensure that residential students, staff and employees are provided with required fire and Life-safety training, education, and testing to understand fire safety practices, emergency procedures, and unsafe or unlawful acts.

Establishes a liaison with a campus fire‐safety expert or establishes the position of “campus fire safety specialist,” who is charged with helping the institution manage and address the many complex fire-protection issues affecting student life on and off campus.

Contains a policy / procedure for securing certification that student housing buildings are in compliance with fire safety codes and adopted standards; adopts a building inspection program.

Identifies and establishes the party responsible for ensuring that all fire protection and life‐safety systems under his or her control are properly maintained and inspected in accordance with adopted state and national fire codes and standards.

Contains an effective and reasonable procedure to obtain any reports issued by City, County, or State Fire Inspectors pertaining to any residence structures under the university’s jurisdiction and depicting the nature and extent of violations found.

Contains a procedure for requiring third‐party property owners of fraternity buildings and off‐campus apartment buildings to remedy fire safety violations or make improvements recommended by fire safety inspectors within a defined period of time, or face losing the University’s approval of the property as student housing.

Contains a procedure for requiring fraternity and student residence property owners to provide to the university sufficient documentation demonstrating compliance with applicable fire and life safety codes.

Provides for or requires training for fraternities and other third‐party property owners renting to students in how to secure fire safety inspections, attain fire and life safety code compliance, and secure reliable certification of such compliance.

Provides for or requires a program for training Resident Assistants in fire safety protocols within their residence halls.

Establishes a protocol identifying who is in charge in each building during a fire emergency, what their duties and authority are.

Requires the posting of sufficiently detailing fire‐evacuation plans (with floor diagrams  and Life Safety  Survival Tactics) in all university‐approved student housing, specifically identifying appropriate posting  locations (like on the back of each student’s room door), and calls for regular fire drills conforming to  those plans.

Identifies and appoints the individual responsible for ensuring that all policies and procedures contained in the document are properly followed and fully implemented, and details how that individual regularly accounts to the university about the status of fire safety policy management.  A good policy document is worthless if it’s left on a shelf to collect dust, or if no one is accountable for its oversight and implementation.

Is conspicuously published in print and online media in a readily accessible locations for all to see (e.g., students, parents, fire safety officials, property owners renting to students, lawyers, etc.), and available for download.  The policy document should be updated regularly (e.g., annually) and carry a publication date.

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