Any occurrence of a fire on campus should be reported immediately to Campus Safety and Security (434.544.5555).
A fire on campus not only interrupts your education, it also destroys valuable property and expensive equipment and can injure or kill people. Carelessness, forgetfulness, and ignorance are factors in many fires. Smoke detectors and alarms warn of a fire while time to escape still exists. Never tamper with smoke detectors, fire alarms, or other fire safety equipment; they may save your life.
Fire Safety Features of Residential Facilities
All University of Lynchburg residential facilities have hard-wired fire alarm systems that report directly to Campus Safety and Security via designated telephone lines. Campus buildings with heating systems that burn fossil fuels have hard-wired carbon monoxide detection systems that report directly to Campus Safety and Security. When an alarm is received, a campus security officer (CSO) is dispatched immediately to determine the cause of the alarm.
All campus fire systems comply with UL Standards and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72 fire alarm system requirements. The College’s fire systems also meet or exceed state and local building codes.
University of Lynchburg works closely with the Lynchburg Fire Marshal’s Office in conducting annual fire/life safety inspections as required by state and local codes. Campus safety officers inspect fire extinguishers monthly. During building construction and renovation, fire safety systems are upgraded as appropriate.
Students, faculty, and staff should learn the fire safety features of campus buildings and take appropriate actions:
- Know where fire extinguishers and pull stations are located and know how to operate them.
- Find the building exits nearest your classrooms, residential room, or office.
- Do not block access to extinguishers or fire exits.
- Report to your RA, HD, or Security all extinguishers that are missing, damaged, or have been discharged.
- Never tamper with a smoke detector or other fire safety equipment. Tampering with any fire equipment may result in suspension from the College and in criminal prosecution.
- When the fire alarm sounds, leave the building quickly.
- Take fire alarms seriously; you never know whether the alarm was activated by an actual fire. If there is no fire, practicing proper emergency response may save lives in the future.
- In case of fire or other emergency warranting building evacuation, follow emergency procedures detailed below.
Evacuation Due to Fire
In every campus building, evacuation procedures are posted, and fire exits are marked. Evacuation maps are posted only in the six residence halls (Freer, Hundley, McWane, Montgomery, Shackelford, and Tate Halls).
In case of fire or other emergency warranting building evacuation:
- Activate the fire alarm system.
- Stay calm, then act; every second counts.
- Leave the building immediately.
- Never use an elevator.
- Crawl or stay beneath smoke; smoke kills.
- DO NOT open a door if the doorknob is hot.
- If you cannot leave the room, stop the smoke from coming in by sealing cracks with tape, clothes, towels, etc.
- Shout to others for help.
- Tie a wet cloth over your nose and mouth to aid breathing.
- If your clothes catch fire, STOP, DROP, and ROLL! Do not run. Instead, drop to the floor and roll out the fire or use a rug, coat, or blanket to smother the flames.
- Never go back into the burning building for ANY reason.
- Tell security officers or firefighters if you know of anyone trapped inside the building.
- Cooperate with campus authorities and follow their instructions.
Let firefighters and other emergency personnel do their jobs. Stay out of the way and remain in designated safe areas.
Fire Safety Policies
To reduce fire hazards, the following items are not permitted in any College residential facility:
- candles (unlit or lit)
- halogen lamps (and other lamps deemed unsafe by the Office of Residence Life)
- space heaters
- any appliances that make an open flame or have exposed heating elements
Additionally, cooking appliances are not permitted in residence hall rooms, other than hot pots, coffee makers, popcorn poppers, and approved micro-fridge microwave ovens.
Gas and charcoal grills may be used and stored outdoors only. When in use, grills must be at least ten feet from all parts of a structure, including decks and porches. Fireworks may not be possessed or used anywhere on campus. Smoking is prohibited in all residence halls and in Peaksview Hall apartments.
Fire Drills and Education
Prior to 2010, University of Lynchburg did not conduct fire drills in student residential facilities or other buildings. Although no supervised fire drills were conducted in 2009, multiple fire alarm activations occurred in residential facilities due to non-emergency circumstances such as cooking, steam from showers, and aerosol sprays used too close to smoke detectors. These non-emergency situations provided opportunities for students to practice building evacuation procedures. Beginning in August 2010, Campus Safety and Security will conduct random, unannounced fire evacuation drills.
Fire safety educational information is available to students and employees only in written form through The Hornet (student handbook), and the Office of Campus Safety and Security’s website (see Annual Security Report and Fire Safety Report). Basic instructions for evacuating campus residential facilities are provided during introductory meetings held at the beginning of each fall semester for students living on campus. Students found responsible for violations of College fire-safety policies may be assigned a fire-safety educational sanction to complete. The College does not provide other fire-safety education or training to students or employees, except for those employed by Campus Safety and Security or the Office of Residence Life.
All campus safety officers are trained annually in proper operation of a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire. Officers also review operation procedures for fire safety systems in all campus facilities. Additionally, CSOs are trained in proper fire alarm response and notification of Lynchburg City fire and other emergency services. Student staff members in the Office of Residence Life receive training in building evacuation procedures, including assisting CSOs who repond to fire alarms.