Maintenance Minute: Fire Safety

Red fire flame line iconDid you know September is Fire Safety Month? Wherever you are, it’s important to know what to do and where to go in case of a fire.

Fire Safety

If you haven’t looked at the Building Evacuation Routes signage posted in your room and around your building, take a moment to do so. This way you will know exactly where to go (and where not to go) in case of an emergency.

In order to remain safe in the event of a fire, make sure to keep a clear path from the door to the other side of your room.

Do not remove any fire extinguisher from its location on the wall, and do not activate fire extinguishers unless there is a fire emergency.

Sprinklers & Smoke Detectors

Avoid tampering with or hanging anything from the in-hall sprinkler systems or sprinkler heads in your room. Doing so could result in activating the sprinkler system for the entire building and setting off false alarms.

Smoke detectors must be attached to the ceiling or wall and have a working battery at all times. If the smoke detector in your room is frequently beeping, please submit a maintenance request for a battery replacement.

Covered, disconnected, or hanging smoke detectors are not allowed. The smoke detector will not properly function if it is not attached correctly and will not alert you in case of a fire.

Fire Drills

To maintain compliance with the City of Madison fire code, University Housing is required to conduct fire drills several times per year. These will be happening while you’re living in the residence halls. We know they can be an inconvenience, but the drills are important to follow whenever they happen.

During these fire drills, it is important to follow the evacuation instructions, distance yourself from the building and building entrance, and wait to return to the building until you hear one of the authorized people conducting the drill say, “all clear.” Typically, the amount of time until you hear the “all clear” is dependent on how quickly residents and staff are evacuating the building. (Want to make the drill go faster? Evacuate the building as quickly as you can, and encourage fellow residents to do the same!)

These fire drills are very helpful in more than just behavior, or the act of leaving. It is also a way for our Facilities team to test the fire alarm system and its support devices, such as exit devices, sounding alarms throughout the building, communication devices, and more. We make sure during this time that these are all in working condition so they are functional in the event of a real emergency.

Regardless of whether a fire alarm is part of a test or an actual emergency, no matter when it happens, it’s vital to your safety that you evacuate quickly every time you hear the alarm.

If you see any fire alarm system devices that are damaged or not working, like the exit signs on the ceiling, please submit a maintenance request so we can address it as soon as possible.

Submit a Maintenance Request