The following regulations are intended to prevent injuries to members of the University community and physical damage to facilities. Rooms are inspected periodically, at random times, to assure compliance with University regulations.
Because of the seriousness of the regulations that cover fire safety and the use of exterior elevated surfaces of campus buildings, the University takes disciplinary action on the first offense. Such actions may include the imposition of a fine by the Housing Department.
The University has the right, moreover, to require students who violate these safety rules to vacate their accommodations with no financial credit for the remainder of the semester. For clarification of any safety violation, students should consult the Housing Inspection Office. Solutions to common fire safety violations can be found here.
If you have any questions, please contact the Princeton University Housing Inspection Office at email@example.com.
Candles and/or incense are not permitted in any dormitory room or common space within undergraduate housing. These items will be confiscated and disposed of immediately on the first violation. If a candle cannot be easily removed from its holder/container/receptacle, all parts will be confiscated and disposed of. Please refer to item #11 in the Fire Safety Policy section for more information.
The New Jersey Hotels and Multiple Dwelling Act, and University policy, prohibit cooking in dormitory/annex rooms. While microfridges rented through Princeton Dorm Furnishings Agency are allowed, student-owned microwaves are not permitted anywhere in dormitories/annexes. Student-owned microwaves and/or induction food preparation devices, when discovered, will be confiscated and fines levied. (See regulation 1 of the Fire Safety Policy for further information concerning electrical appliances.) Any suggestions for the placement of additional items on the authorized list should be submitted to the Manager of Dormitories at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The primary goal of any fire alarm system is to ensure that occupants are alerted to a fire early enough to evacuate safely from the building. To ensure that occupants will respond to an alarm, the fire alarm system must be reliable and free of nuisance alarms. Nuisance alarms create complacency amongst occupants and can hinder evacuation. Princeton University has adopted a policy to assist in reducing nuisance alarms. When a nuisance alarm occurs (such as cooking), the occupants of the room in which the alarm originated from will receive a warning on first offense. If there is a second violation, a $50 fine per occupant will be issued to all of the originating room occupants. Upon third offense, a $100 fine per occupant will be issued to all of the originating room occupants. A $200 fine per occupant will be assessed to all of the originating room occupants for a fourth offense. A fifth offense is subject to disciplinary action which could include the confiscation of the appliance and/or loss of housing.
Fire Safety Policy
No heat-producing electrical appliances are permitted in University dormitories/annexes, inclusive of student rooms, except for certain authorized items. The only exceptions to this rule are locked, limited-access kitchens, locked cabinets in open kitchens, and the private kitchens in some suites. Appliances found elsewhere in the dormitories, including those found in open dormitory kitchens, are confiscated, and fines are levied. Appliances in sealed cartons will incur a warning on the first inspection. Their continued presence during subsequent inspections will incur a $100 fine. (This fine can be incurred whether it is the original cited appliance or another appliance in a sealed carton.) Authorized heat-producing appliances may not be left on while unattended or used in any hazardous manner. Authorized items are irons, electric blankets, hair dryers, hair curlers, and clothes steamers. Also certain coffee makers, kettles, hot air corn poppers and iced tea makers are authorized. A complete list of authorized appliances with model numbers is listed at http://www.princeton.edu/us/housing/inspections/fire_safety/authorized/. Please be sure not only to get the correct manufacturer, but also to get the correct model.
Halogen Lamps found in dormitories/annexes are considered an unauthorized heat-producing appliance. Halogen lamps will be confiscated and a fine of $50 per lamp assessed for the first violation; $100 per lamp for the second violation. No warning is issued before fines are levied.
Unauthorized Space Heaters
Unauthorized space heaters are not permitted. They will be confiscated and a fine of $50 per heater assessed for the first violation; $100 per heater for the second violation. No warning will be issued before fines are levied.
Intentional Activation of Fire Alarm
Intentional activation of a fire alarm when there is no fire emergency is a violation of state law. A $100 fine is assessed. No warning is issued before fine.
Fire extinguishers are not to be removed from their proper locations or discharged unless there is a true fire emergency. Anyone found tampering with a fire extinguisher is subject to disciplinary action and fined $100 per extinguisher or per student, whichever is greater. Building Services maintains and services portable fire extinguishers. Students are asked to report vandalism and/or discharged fire extinguishers to Customer Service at 8-8000.
Smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, and carbon monoxide detectors must not be covered or blocked. A 24-inch circumference clearance must be maintained at all times. Tampering with any component of the smoke detection system, sprinkler system, and/or carbon monoxide detector is prohibited. Absolutely nothing may be attached to wiring, smoke detectors, sprinkler system components, and/or carbon monoxide detectors. Students will be charged for repair and/or replacement of any detection device and a $50 fine will be issued to all room occupants with possible disciplinary action by Dean's Office.
Flammable holiday decorations such as live Christmas trees (cut or balled), wreaths made from pine boughs, and untreated bunting are not permitted in University housing units. Inspectors will remove and dispose of pine bough wreaths and other flammable decorations found in the dormitories/annexes. A fine of $25 is assessed for every live tree, wreath, bunting, or garland found in a dormitory. The student is expected to remove the decoration as soon as possible, but, in any event, no later than the start of the next business day. If the tree is still present upon re-inspection the next business day, it will be removed at the student’s expense.
Room Entry Door/Fire Door
Room entry doors, fire doors, and/or any door with a closing and latching mechanism must not be propped open or disabled. Students are charged for repair and replacement of closing mechanisms, latch/lockset mechanisms and/or other door mechanisms or parts including the door.
Nothing is allowed to block, even partially, any means of egress. Waterbottles, clothing, furniture, or any other items may not be placed in hallways and/or stairwells. All items must be kept in the room or in storage. Egress doors must be able to open fully with nothing blocking the swing of the door. Major items such as furniture or boxes blocking the doors will be immediately subject to fines. Lesser items, such as clothing or paper, will receive a warning and an explanation before any fine is issued.
Tampering with safety seals on any egress door is prohibited.
Alcohol lamps, oil lamps, fireworks, flammable or combustible materials such as gasoline, kerosene, propane, lighter fluid, charcoal products, or similar substances are not permitted in any student housing unit. Grills are prohibited as is grilling without the permission of the University. Candles/incense are not permitted in any undergraduate housing unit. These items will be confiscated and disposed of immediately on the first violation. If a candle cannot be easily removed from its holder/ container/receptacle, all parts will be confiscated and disposed of.
Exterior Elevated Surfaces
Exterior elevated areas (fire escapes, roofs, parapets, etc.) of dormitories are designed to be used as a second means of egress in an emergency. No items may be placed in these areas at any time under any circumstances. No items, including antennae, wires, lights, banners, etc. may be placed on or affixed to the exterior of any building with the exception of the flag of a country.
Safety Signs/Evacuations Signs
Safety signs, evacuation signs, and markings are not to be altered, defaced, damaged, covered, or removed.
Electric Wiring - Only University electrical wiring is allowed in dormitory rooms with the following exceptions: UL listed, fused power strips with cords of 12 feet or less may be used. Power strips may not be used in series to gain greater length. Electrical cords must not be routed unsafely (under carpets, in pathways, through doorways, taped down, etc). Spliced, taped or frayed cords must not be used. Electrical wiring which is "homemade" or otherwise modified is prohibited. Non-breaker multi-outlet devices such as adapters, cubes, etc are prohibited. Dimmer switches, ceiling fixtures and ceiling fans may not be installed.
Nothing may be affixed to any window or egress door (room entry door, bedroom door, hallway door, etc.).
Tapestries or other wall coverings must be hung vertically and must be at least 18 inches from any heat source (electrical outlets and/or switches, lights, etc). Nothing may be hung from and/or placed on the ceiling. Tapestries, posters, fabric items, and lights may not be draped from wall to wall, must be installed flat to the wall. Unframed paper, tapestries, fabric items, plastic, or other easily ignitable materials may not be hung hear operating fireplaces. At least six inches of space must be left between wall hangings.
Unsanitary or Excessively Disorderly Conditions
Excessively disorderly conditions and the storage of excessive amounts of paper, trash, or recyclables are prohibited. Trash and recycling containers should only be placed in hallways for disposal. Trash and recycling containers must not be kept in hallways or stairwells.
Refrigerator or Freezer
Refrigerators or freezers that do not conform to University standards may not be kept in the dormitories and will be removed. Students are permitted either one refrigerator or one freezer per occupant. An occupant my not have both. Students should consult the Housing Inspection Office for information regarding appropriate specifications.
No paneling or partitions are to be installed by students.
No motorized vehicles (motor-bikes, mopeds, motorcycles, and scooters) may be stored or parked in or near a dormitory. Students wishing to park their vehicles should contact Transportation and Parking Services.
Other Hazardous Conditions
Hazardous conditions not anticipated by specific reference in the Fire Safety Policy are prohibited. Such conditions are specifically identified, and an opportunity is provided to correct them before any fine is assessed, unless they present a clear and present danger, in which case immediate appropriate action will be taken and a fine imposed accordingly.
Fire Safety violations listed above result in the following fines:
Regulations 1, 2, and 3
Electrical appliances, space heaters, and halogen lamps: $50 fine per appliance/heater/lamp for the first violation. $100 fine per appliance/heater/lamp for the second violation. No warning is issued before fines are levied.
Misuse of authorized appliances (irons, electric blankets, hair dryers, hair curlers, clothes steamers, and designated models of kettles, popcorn poppers and coffee makers): A warning is issued on the first offense. Subsequent violations result in confiscation and a fine.
$100 fine. No warning is issued before fines.
$100 fine per extinguisher or per student, whichever is greater.
$50 fine. No warning is issued before fines and possible disciplinary action by the dean’s office.
Regulations 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 13
$25 fine. No warning is issued before fines. Subsequent violations result in increased fines and possible disciplinary action by the dean's office.
Unlit candle first offense incurs a $50 fine and possible disciplinary action by the dean’s office. Lit candle first offense incurs a $100 fine and disciplinary action by the dean’s office. Fireworks first offense incurs a $50 fine and disciplinary action by the dean’s office. Flammable liquids first offense incurs a $50 fine and possible disciplinary action by the dean’s office.
Regulations 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21
A warning is issued to all occupants of the room or suite when the violation is first identified. If the violation is not corrected, or if a second violation of the same regulation occurs anywhere in the same suite, a fine of $25 is assessed. If it is still not corrected, or if a third violation occurs anywhere in the same suite, an additional fine of $50 is assessed. If it is still not corrected, and a fourth violation occurs anywhere in the same suite, an additional fine of $100 is assessed.
The total amount of fine(s) incurred by a room will be charged to each occupant. If an occupant accepts sole responsibility for a fine, that occupant would only be fined the single fine amount (not the multiplied amount). Contact the Housing Inspectors (email@example.com) to accept fine responsibility.
If violations persist after the above fines are assessed, other penalties follow, including additional fines, termination of the housing contract with no financial credit, denial of permission to reside in University housing in future years, and University discipline through the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students.
After every fire safety inspection, the inspection results will be electronically transmitted to every occupant.
In order to ensure that students are complying with the University’s Fire Code, the Housing and Real Estate Services Department conducts periodic inspections of dormitory rooms. These are necessary to guarantee safe living conditions for the many students that the University houses. The procedures that the inspectors follow when doing inspections are listed below.
This set of procedures is intended to cause the least amount of inconvenience to students, while still giving the Inspectors a chance to do their jobs effectively. In the same way that students may expect the Inspectors to be courteous and reasonable, so are the students expected to treat the Inspectors in the same professional manner. The Inspectors are open to discussion about why a certain situation is unsafe and in conflict with the Fire Code, but are not the proper authorities with whom to dispute a fine.
If students have additional questions about the Fire Code or a particular fine, they should contact the Dormitory Property Supervisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspections shall be conducted no earlier than 10 a.m.
- Inspectors shall follow this procedure:
- Announce their presence by knocking loudly on the entrance door and saying: “Fire Safety Inspection; may I come in?”
- If there is no response, unlock the door. Knock again after opening the door just enough to identify themselves again. If there is no response, they will enter the room.
- If there are closed bedroom doors, they will knock and ask to come in before inspecting them. They may enter if there is no response.
- If in any instance there is an answer and the occupant asks them to wait, they will wait for the occupant to open the door. They may suggest to the occupant that he/she stay covered up in bed, and enter if the occupant clearly agrees to this.
- If the occupant refuses them entrance completely, they will inform the occupant thusly: “I must report your refusal to the dean’s office.”
- If the student is not home, inspectors will take care to leave the room as they found it; however, if the door is unlocked, it will be locked by the inspectors as they exit and the situation noted in the appropriate box on the inspection report.
- While inspecting the students’ rooms, inspectors will be courteous to the students and respectful of their belongings.
- If there are any infractions, inspectors may explain to the student how and why the situation is in violation of policy, and suggest possible remedies. Explanation will be given if requested.
- If the student believes that the situation is not in violation of the code, the inspector will listen and consider the student’s explanation. The student will then be invited to e-mail the address on the notice if they have additional questions. Inspectors are neither obliged nor encouraged to engage the student in debate over the violation.
- The inspector shall leave the student a notice of confiscation or notice of inspection.
The Housing and Real Estate Services Department recognizes that difficulties with the fire inspection process may occur. Below is the description of the appeals process that should be followed if students feel they have a serious concern to address.
- Students who wish to submit a procedures-related appeal or dispute a fine over a particular interpretation of policy may file an appeal via e-mail to email@example.com. Students have five business days, from the inspection date and/or after receiving a fine notification email, to submit an appeal. Fines of a purely factual nature cannot be appealed. (Factual fines are those given to students for such infractions as possession of an unauthorized appliance, storing fireworks or combustible liquids, candles, or covering/blocking smoke detectors and/or sprinkler system).
- The Manager of Dormitories will respond by e-mail to each appeal in an attempt to resolve the issue if possible. If the student is still not satisfied with the action of the Manager of Dormitories, the student may resubmit their appeal to the department of Housing and Real Estate Services for review by the committee. Students will have a period of two weeks to respond if not satisfied with the Manager of Dormitories decision.
- The Appeals Committee shall consist of the following members, each of whom have one vote: the Deputy Director of Housing and Real Estate Services, the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Students responsible for housing, and one of the graduate housing representatives elected from the Graduate Student Union (for Graduate only). The committee shall meet as needed to review appeals. The committee shall require a simple majority vote in reaching its decisions.
- The committee may request individual interviews with the student and Housing Inspectors involved with a particular case to facilitate its decision. Failure to appear before the committee if so requested will entail forfeiture of the appeal.
- Within a month of receiving the appeal, the committee will make its decision to uphold, reduce, or waive the fine. The Housing and Real Estate Services Department Director reserves the right to review and give final approval of the decision.
- The student will subsequently be apprised of the outcome of his/her appeal. The decision letter sent to the student will be considered final and binding.
Second Means of Egress
A number of rooms on the upper floors of several dormitory buildings have been provided with a second means of egress that is designed to be used as an emergency exit.
This second means of egress takes two forms:
- Emergency doors between suites on the same floor leading to a fire door in the adjoining suite and
- An emergency door connecting to a suite on the same floor that has a fire escape.
The following is a list of additional regulations that govern emergency exit doors.
- No furniture or impediments may be placed on either side of any emergency doors at any time.
- The protective glass doorknob cover is a security device and may be broken or removed by students only in a true emergency situation.
- Residents are charged $100 for the replacement or reinstallation of knob covers that are broken or removed unless the University Department of Public Safety verifies that an emergency situation existed that justified such breakage. Tampering with or removing any University installed seals or breaking glass enclosures is prohibited.
- The glass doorknob cover that protects the second means of egress can be removed if all students affected by its removal approve. To have the cover removed, students must contact the Housing Inspection Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. The charge for this service is $50, which absorbs the cost of the cover’s removal and its reinstallation when the current occupants vacate the premises.
- No locks, slide bolts, hooks and eyes, chains, or other devices may be installed on any emergency door (including individual bedroom doors and those from which the glass cover has been removed) within suites that give access to any emergency door or fire escape serving that suite. The occupants of the suite are charged for the removal of any illegally installed impediments.
Fire Evacuation Drills
State law requires regular, unannounced fire drills. Whether drills are conducted during the day or night, full cooperation in quickly and safely evacuating the buildings is expected. Since everyone’s ultimate concern is life safety, noncompliance or failure to cooperate in any way will lead to disciplinary action.
Any student who fails to leave the building when a fire alarm sounds is fined $50 and is referred to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students for University disciplinary action. Any student who again fails to leave the building during a subsequent drill may be required to vacate his or her dormitory accommodations permanently, with no financial credit given for the unelapsed term of the housing contract, or may have other appropriate disciplinary action taken against him or her.
Emergency Action Plan
Fire or other potential emergencies may require the occupants, including students, staff, visitors or staff from other University departments, to evacuate any or all of the college buildings. The following information and procedures have been designed to help ensure your personal safety, should an evacuation become necessary. For further information on preparing for and responding to campus emergencies, please visit the student emergency preparedness web page at http://web.princeton.edu/sites/emergency/student-emergency.htm or the University’s Emergency Preparedness web site available through the “Emergency Info” Quick Link on the University Home Page.
University Fire Emergency Policy and Procedure
In case of a fire emergency, Public Safety must be notified immediately at 911. Public Safety has primary responsibility for managing fire emergencies and summoning outside assistance when necessary. Unauthorized re-entry into a building during a fire emergency is not permitted. Violators of this policy are subject to University and state fire code sanctions.
Each University Department must designate an Emergency Coordinator responsible for developing and maintaining a departmental Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and training employees on all elements of the plan as well as any special duties assigned specific individuals. During a fire emergency, only individuals designated in the EAP may remain in the building to fulfill their responsibilities. All other occupants must immediately evacuate the building in accordance with the departmental emergency action plan.
Building occupants are not required to fight fires. Individuals who have been trained in the proper use of a fire extinguisher and are confident in their ability to cope with the hazards of a fire may use a portable fire extinguisher to fight small, incipient stage fires (no larger than a waste paper basket). Fire fighting efforts must be terminated when it becomes obvious that there is risk of harm from smoke, heat or flames.
If you discover a fire:
· Alert people in the immediate area of the need to evacuate
· Activate the nearest fire alarm
· Call Public Safety at 911
If a building fire alarm is sounding or you receive notification of a fire emergency:
Feel the door or doorknob to the hallway with the back of your hand. If it feels hot, do not open it – the fire may be on the other side of the door. If you are trapped, put a cloth or towel under the door to help prevent the entry of smoke. Dial 911 and tell the Public Safety dispatcher your location and telephone extension and that you are trapped in the room and need rescue. Stay on the phone until instructed otherwise.
If the door is not hot, open it slowly. If the hallway is clear of smoke, walk to the nearest fire exit and evacuate via the nearest stairwell to the street/grade level exit.
Close doors behind you.
Do not attempt to use elevators. Elevators are tied to the fire detection system and are not available to occupants once the alarm sounds.
Assemble at the area designated in your dormitory evacuationplan and remain there until instructed by Public Safety or the fire department that it is safe to re-enter the building.
For information regarding Emergency Coordinators in your area visit the link at http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/emergency.
Fire Protection Systems
All dormitories/annexes are equipped with an alarm system consisting of audible and visible alarms activated by manual pull stations or smoke detection.
Evacuation Procedures Evacuate immediately unless you have specific emergency responsibilities designated in the Additional Duties section of this plan. After you have left the building, you MUST go to your designated assembly point which can be found at http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/emergency.
If re-occupancy is not imminent, occupants will be directed to proceed to Dillon Gym. Depending on the severity and scale of the event that triggered the evacuation, Public Safety will implement accounting procedures for college residents and all are expected to cooperate in the effort. At Dillon, telephone service and e-mail connections will be provided to allow students to contact family members.
During an emergency, students and visitors who may not be familiar with this plan must be informed of the requirement to evacuate. Special attention should also be given to any persons with disabilities, especially those who are visitors or unfamiliar with the building.
Resident Advisors, Dorm Assistants and Resident Graduate Students
For the purposes of emergency procedures and evacuations, residential advisors, dorm assistants and Resident Graduate Students are considered residents only and are not assigned or expected to perform any additional duties. However, once at the designated assembly points, RCA’s should account for all of their advisees.
Assistance in an Evacuation
If you think you might need specialized assistance in recognizing an alarm (e.g. a visual alarm device) or help during an evacuation (e.g. specialized evacuation equipment or alternative egress route planning) due to a medical condition or disability, you may contact your emergency coordinator to arrange for an evaluation. Self-identification is voluntary. All such requests and any special arrangements made will only be disclosed to Public Safety and individuals who have a responsibility to assist under the plan. Remember that elevators are tied to the fire detection system and are not available to occupants once a fire alarm sounds.
Additional information on emergency action planning can be found in the Princeton University Health & Safety Guide, on the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) web page (www.princeton.edu/ehs), or by contacting the University Safety Engineer (8-2648) or the University Fire Marshal (8-6805)
Student must be trained on the contents of this plan and all fire safety procedures at the start of the school year. Fire/evacuation drills are conducted each semester and will model an actual emergency to the extent that students should evacuate to the designated assembly point, where further information will be disseminated.
Fire extinguisher training is available upon request through the University Fire Marshal (8-6805)
911 is for reporting emergencies only. Do not call 911 to try to obtain information about an emergent situation.
Should there be an emergency requiring evacuation of your building, you should report to the designated assembly area where residential staff or a Public Safety Officer will provide further instruction, as appropriate.
In the event of a major emergency affecting the campus, the University will use one or more of the following means to communicate with the University Community:
CAMPUS EMERGENCY HOTLINES
- SNOW Line: 8-SNOW or 8-7669 for information about University closing, delayed opening or early closing
- ALERT Line: Access U-CALL (82255), spell out ALERT (25378) for a recorded message from Public Safety
- CRISIS SUPPORT Line: 8-7700 for the Crisis Support Center hotline. In the event of a major campus emergency, this hotline is answered by individuals who can provide information regarding the emergency and support services available. In the absence of an emergency, this line maintains a recorded message.
When possible, mass e-mail is used to provide information and instructions.
Emergency reports may be available through WPRB 103.3 FM.
Princeton University Tiger cable stations 4 and 7 may have emergency information and announcements
Information may be posted in Dining Halls and Kiosks located around campus
Emergency Guidelines for the Campus Community developed by the Emergency Preparedness Task Force (EPTF) are available through the “Emergency Info” Quick Link on the University Home Page. This resource provides a wide variety of information on planning for and responding to emergencies. Please take a few minutes to become familiar with the content of this page.