UC Davis, University of California

Guide to Residence Hall Life


Student Housing Logo

Section 5: Fire Safety

Fire safety is taken very seriously in the residence halls and you are expected to adhere to the following regulations. For reasons of safety, the fire department has imposed restrictions on furnishings and some electrical equipment. Large wall hangings [such as tapestry and large posters] must be treated with a flame retardant. Students are not permitted to use anything that produces an open flame, such as candles, cigarettes, hookahs, and incense, in their rooms or suites. Hallways and walkways, as well as building entrance and exit areas, need to be clear at all times. No items should be stored in these areas at any time. This includes, but is not limited to, bicycles and trash. Students may not store or repair motorized vehicles in the residence halls. It is also prohibited for students to store gasoline or other flammable liquids in any living units. Cooking/warming appliances may not be used in residence hall rooms with the exception of coffee pots, Keurigs and microwaves [see Electrical Safety]. Resident and Community Kitchens located throughout Student Housing should be used properly and maintained by the residents. Appliances in rooms often activate the sensitive fire alarm system; small appliances and hot air popcorn poppers may be used in community kitchens. No person may use or store fireworks of any type in residence halls or on campus.

A. Fire Alarms, Smoke Detectors, & Fire Sprinklers

All residence halls are equipped with fire detection devices and manual pull stations. When manual pull stations are activated, the building fire alarm will sound and the UC Davis Fire Department will respond. Student rooms in all residence halls are equipped with smoke detectors that sound a local alarm within the affected room. Residence halls also have fire detection devices in public and common areas that sound the building fire alarm and the Fire Department will respond. Fire Sprinkler/Riser Valves located in the Resident Hall stairwells are only to be handled/operated by authorized fire personnel, when operated/turned they will activated the building fire alarm and the FD will respond. Additionally, all residence halls (except for Emerson Hall) are equipped with an automatic sprinkler system that when activated will sound the building fire alarm and the Fire Department will respond.. Fire department personnel will respond immediately to all alarms with a full complement of firefighting equipment. It is the responsibility of each student to evacuate the residence hall when an alarm sounds; failure to leave during an alarm will result in disciplinary action.

Each resident needs to be aware of the sensitivity of fire detection devices in their rooms and hallways. They can be activated by foreign materials (e.g. water, smoke, aerosol sprays and dust) or sudden shock (e.g., being hit or touched). Fire detection devices cannot function as designed if they are covered, taken down, or have objects hanging from them. As a result, such activity is not permitted. Tampering with or activating an alarm in a non-emergency situation, or the presence of illegal cooking devices that cause an activation of the system, will result in disciplinary action as well as the assessment of a charge for costs attributed to the false alarm.

B. Fire Extinguishers

All living areas are equipped with fire extinguishers to be used in the event a minor fire occurs. Should a fire extinguisher not be present within 75 feet of your room or kitchen area, please notify residence hall staff or your area office.

C. Torchiere Halogen Lamps

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a warning to consumers that the light bulbs in most torchiere style halogen lamps can reach very high temperatures and could start a fire if they come in contact with curtains, clothes, or other flammable materials. It is because of this increased fire and safety risk that torchiere halogen lamps are prohibited in the residence halls.

D. Door with Electromagnetic Hold-Open Devices

Doors for rooms, stairways, and corridors are equipped with electromagnetic hold open devices and contain a self-closing device to aid in the closing/latching the door during a fire alarm activation. These doors cannot be propped open and tampering with these door is a violation of the fire/life safety code.

E. Hoverboards

The use, possession, charging, and/or storage of hoverboards, defined as a battery operated, self-balancing devices used for personal transportation, is prohibited in any building owned or operated by Student Housing. The batteries in certain hoverboards may catch fire while charging and therefore present a significant safety risk.