Awareness. Knowledge. Preparation.
The first step toward fire safety is being aware. Be sure to review all Housing policies, especially those related to fire safety.
All residence halls and apartment complexes have state-of-the-art addressable fire alarm systems and sprinklers. A fire evacuation map is also installed on the inside of every residence hall/apartment complex room.
Residents must attend community floor meetings to review Housing & Residential Life's fire safety policies and procedures, including fire evacuation procedures and fire extinguisher use. One planned fire drill is scheduled each semester.
Emergency Action Plan
All buildings provide staff training, safety programming, and an Emergency Action Plan. This plan contains information about facility evacuation and outlines the responsibility of Emergency Action Leaders:
Residence Directors, Assistant Residence Directors, and Business Operations Supervisors are instructed in fire safety policies and procedures.
Community Advisors are trained in fire safety policies and procedures.
Office Assistants are trained by the Business Operations Supervisor on fire safety policies and procedures, fire alarm system panel board monitoring, and reset procedures.
Security Monitors who complete nightly building rounds are trained by UMPD.
The addressable fire alarm system installed in all University housing buildings utilizes state-of-the-art technology. This type of alarm has several special features:
Alarms automatically sound in the portion (zone) of the affected building; in case of a fully engulfed fire in the building, alarms will sound in all zones to ensure resident awareness.
This type of system allows for broadcast messages throughout the building or in selected zones. In the fully sprinklered buildings, the fire pull station locations are limited per the National Fire Protection code to reduce false alarms. In halls where sprinkler systems were installed after the new fire alarms systems, pull stations are covered by pre-alarm squawk boxes to help minimize false alarms.
Building automatic sprinkler systems consist of the networking of piping, water supply, sprinkler heads, and alarm and detection devices that sense the heat from the fire and automatically distribute water to completely extinguish the fire or control its growth.
These systems are particularly effective for safety purposes because they give warning of the existence of fire and at the same time apply water to the burning area. While the downward force of the water may lower the smoke level in a room where the fire is burning, the sprinklers also serve to cool the room and reduce the immediate threat to people.
All fire alarm and sprinkler systems that are installed in University of Minnesota residence halls/apartment complexes are tested regularly by Facilities Management personnel in accordance with the National Fire Protection Codes.
Smoke detectors in sleeping areas in the residence halls/apartment complexes are tested by maintenance staff two times a year to ensure that they work and are properly connected. Detectors found to be nonfunctioning or disconnected are replaced/reconnected.
Fire extinguishers are tested yearly and recharged as needed. Maintenance staff does monthly visual checks to ensure all extinguishers are in their proper locations and are fully charged.
Exit lights are checked periodically by maintenance staff.
University Police Department and Minneapolis Fire Department respond to all alarms EXCEPT pre-planned fire drills when pre-notified by our authorized building staff.
All addressable fire alarm systems are connected to the Building Systems Automation Center (BSAC), which is automatically notified if an alarm is activated. BSAC notifies 911 dispatchers. Community Advisors will still call 911 to give specific information to emergency services.
Knox boxes, or locked key boxes, contain all necessary building keys and are located at the main building entry areas, giving access to emergency response teams.
Staff members responding to any instance of sounded fire alarms are required to fill out an incident statement. This documentation is required, regardless of whether it is a false alarm, fire drill, or actual fire.
A log of any fires that have occurred in on-campus housing during the last 60 days is maintained and accessible to the public by visiting the information desk in Comstock Hall - East during business hours (8:00AM-4:30PM, Monday-Friday). Fire logs for over 60 days are available within two business of a request for public inspection.