Dialing 9-1-1

9-1-1 is a number you can dial from any landline or cellphone to get immediate emergency help. When you dial 9-1-1 a dispatcher will be able to see the number you are calling from and in some cases your location. If you can, tell the dispatcher the cause and location of your emergency. If you are unable to speak or do not speak English do not hang up the phone until you are told to, the dispatcher will still send police to you.

Sirens in University Apartments

  • Test Siren: tornado sirens are tested on the first Wednesday of the month at noon
  • Fire Siren: Shorewood Hills Fire Department tests a two-tone signal for volunteer firefighters on Thursdays at 6:45 p.m.
  • Tornado Siren: a steady siren blast of three minutes or longer


A tornado watch means that weather conditions are favorable for severe weather, including tornadoes to develop. Listen to the radio or watch a local television station for weather updates.

A tornado warning means a tornado HAS been sighted in the area, and you need to take shelter. Take shelter in the basement or a laundry room if it is available. If you cannot get to a basement areas the next best choice is an interior room without windows. Listen to a local radio station for information. 


In any large apartment community, there are occasional false fire alarms. But there are also real fires, often starting in kitchens. When you hear a fire alarm, always vacate your apartment. Madison Fire Department responds to all building alarms and our staff are prohibited from resetting the fire alarm until Madison Fire personnel have directed them to do so. If there are flames, call 9-1-1 to get help there as fast as possible.

"Pull Stations" to Activate Fire Alarms

Residents must activate a fire alarm pull station inside their apartment or in the common stairwell to activate the building fire alarm system. In University Houses, the pull stations are found in basements where resident storage is located in buildings 5, 10, 21, 30, 35 and 39.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detector in UA There are active smoke detectors in each apartment throughout University Apartments. These only sound a local alarm; they are not linked to the University Police or fire department. In the apartments smoke detectors are interconnected and “hard wired” into the electrical system, with battery back-up. Do not disconnect your smoke detector. You will be held responsible for payment of fire damages to buildings and their contents if investigation following a fire reveals an apartment smoke detector did not function due to negligence on your part (removal of the smoke detector, or failure to replace a weak or missing battery), or if the fire was caused by you. A charge may be made for fixing non-operating detectors if found during normal maintenance calls. If the detector goes off by mistake and you temporarily remove the battery, be sure to replace it.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide detector in UA There are active carbon monoxide detectors in all Harvey Street apartments, in Eagle Heights all apartments that are adjacent to the boiler rooms have them, and in University Houses there is one detector in every unit tied into the smoke detector system. If the alarm is constant, you should leave the apartment and contact the Apartment Facilities Office or the Resident Manager on Duty. If it is “chirping” or beeping every few seconds, that means it is time to change the batteries. 

Fire Extinguishers

Tampering with a fire extinguisher is a crime. If you observe someone tampering with an extinguisher, notify the University Police immediately. Also, notify the Apartment Facilities Office so that the extinguisher can be checked to ensure it is in working order. Make sure everyone in your household knows the location of the fire extinguishers in your building.

Kitchen Fires

Kitchen fires usually occur because someone put something on the stove to cook, and then became involved in another activity or left the apartment. Another frequent cause of fire is grease build-up in the kitchen.

  • NEVER leave a stove unattended if it is in use.
  • Keep the stove, kitchen walls, and all areas near the stove free of grease.  DO NOT cover drip pans or any other area of your stove with aluminum foil- this traps grease.
  • In the event of a stove fire, turn the stove off. DO NOT use water to extinguish the flames; it will spread a grease fire and may cause electrical shock. Instead, shake salt or baking soda on the flames, or use a fire extinguisher.

Fire Exit Paths

All exits and entryways must be kept entirely clear and easily accessible. This means you cannot store anything (including shoes, trash, plants, or toys) in hallways, staircases, or entryways, or on fire rescue platforms (the small fire escape balconies). Outdoor toys, grills, bikes, sleds, and outside (folding/stacking) chairs may be stored neatly on patios and balconies in the 700s, 800s, and 900s areas of Eagle Heights, as long as a four-foot-wide pathway is maintained. The City of Madison Fire Marshal can write citations (tickets) to residents if the fire codes are not followed.

Fire Related Regulations

  • Tampering with a fire alarm is a crime. Anyone caught intentionally setting off a false alarm will be charged for response time, and there could be additional lease or legal consequences.
  • Never overload electrical outlets. Do not use electrical cords that are damaged in any way.
  • Do not let candles burn for long periods of time or leave them unattended.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • It is illegal to light any fire on University property, except in those places that are established for such purposes.
  • It is a violation of your lease to use a grill indoors, on patios, or within 10 feet of a University building.
  • Explosive or flammable materials (such as gasoline or propane) cannot be stored indoors.
  • Fireworks are extremely restricted by law in Wisconsin and are absolutely prohibited in University Apartments.