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Policies and Procedures

7.04 Fire Safety


To establish general policies regarding the use of open flames, electrical appliances, holiday decorations and ceremonial fires, to establish a process for seeking exceptions and to identify responsibilities of students, faculty and staff for building evacuation.

Policy Statement:

The Safety Office is responsible for fire evacuation plans and notices. The Physical Plant is responsible for the inspection of fire safety equipment including portable fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems.

Students, faculty, and staff must evacuate a building when the fire alarm sounds using the nearest exit or the exit farthest from the fire or smoke and not re-enter a building until authorized by Public Safety staff.

Students, faculty, and staff are responsible for orienting themselves to the facilities they use, for making themselves aware of the posted evacuation plans for those buildings, for conducting activities in the safest possible manner and for adhering to the fire safety policies. “Facilities” include locations housing programs such as UNI-Center for Urban Education, the National Ag-Based Lubricants Center, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, etc.

Open Flames:

The use of an open flame is prohibited unless approved by the Safety Officer or designee.  Open flame equipment for instructional and maintenance purposes shall meet all safety requirements and reasonable precautions shall be taken in their operation to prevent personal injury and/or property damage.

Electrical Appliances:

  1. All appliances must be UL approved.

  2. Building light bulbs shall not be replaced with higher wattage bulbs than those for which the fixture was designed.

  3. Room switches and outlets shall not be modified.

  4. Electrical heaters in buildings must be connected directly to wall outlets and are to be disconnected at night or when the area is expected to be vacant for longer than an hour.  The use of extension cords is prohibited.  Electrical heaters may not be used in residence halls unless authorized by the Director of the Department of Residence or designee.

Holiday Decorations:

  1. Natural trees and resinous greenery are prohibited for use as holiday decorations in all university buildings, unless authorized by the Safety Officer or designee.

  2. Artificial trees or other decorations must be flame proof.

  3. All lighting used on artificial trees must be UL approved sets and be checked annually for frayed wires, loose connections and broken sockets.

  4. Lighting on artificial trees and other decorations must be disconnected at night or when the area is expected to be vacant for longer than an hour.

Ceremonial Fires:

Groups desiring to use ceremonial fires must obtain approval from the Safety Officer or designee.


Fire and Evacuation Procedures:

  1. Activate the fire alarm system.

  2. Call 911 and identify where help is needed.

  3. Close all windows and doors, if possible, prior to leaving the room.  Students in residence hall rooms should turn off lights, close windows, and close and lock the door.

  4. Do not use any elevator during building evacuation.

Individuals with disabilities not on ground level during a fire evacuation should go to the nearest stairwell making sure any fire doors are closed behind them.  University or city public safety personnel will check stairwells as soon as arriving to assist persons with disabilities.

Personal Safety:

  1. Students, faculty and staff should make themselves aware of the location of fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and various exit routes from the offices, classrooms, laboratories and residence halls they frequent.

  2. Students, faculty and staff should know how to use fire extinguishers.  The Safety Office of the Department of Physical Plant will schedule instruction when requested.

Exceptions to Policies:

Requests for exceptions shall be directed to the Safety Officer.   Requests shall identify the particulars of the exception and the area where exception is requested.   Safety or designee may require an inspection of devices, etc. and the area prior to ruling on the request.

Safety Office approved, 4/99
Vice President for Administration and Finance approved, 4/99
President’s Cabinet approved, 4/99