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Fraternity & Sorority Inspection

Danger: Multi-Colored Floor Lamps

Ohio University has a special relationship with fraternity and sorority chapters. As part of that special relationship, the university allows sophomore students to be exempted from the on-campus housing policy. In order to maintain this exemption, chapters must comply with certain rules and expectations.

Chapters are required to:

  1. Schedule, conduct, and pass an annual house inspection conducted by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). Chapter presidents or designated officers are responsible for contacting EHS directly at 593-1666 to schedule an inspection.
    • All inspections must be completed by September 1. Chapter houses must be in compliance with all safety standards by this date or sophomore members planning to reside in the house will be required to move into approved, on-campus housing for that academic year.
    • Chapter presidents or designated officers may begin scheduling house inspections on April 15. All house inspections must be scheduled by May 1. Failure to schedule a house inspection by May 1 will cause a chapter to forfeit participation in any and all Greek Week activities for that year.
    • Staff members from the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) will inspect all public areas of the chapter house, sleeping rooms, the kitchen and utility/storage rooms, as well as the outdoor property.
    • The house director and the undergraduate house manager (or designated officer) must be present at the time of the inspections. After completion of the inspection, an original copy of the Greek Housing Inspection Report will be left with the house director, the undergraduate house manager, or designated officer.
    • If the house has not passed the initial inspection, a representative of the chapter will be required to respond to EHS in writing within three (3) working days of the inspection outlining plans to bring the house to compliance. If EHS does not receive communication within three (3) working days, EHS may recommend to Campus Life that the process be started to remove the house from the list of authorized chapter houses.
    • If the house did not pass the initial inspection and written communication was received by EHS within three (3) working days, an unannounced follow-up inspection will be conducted by EHS on or shortly after two weeks from the date of the initial inspection. A copy of the Greek Housing Inspection Report of the follow-up inspection will be left with a representative of the chapter. If no one is present to receive the report, the copy of the follow-up inspection report will be posted on the outside of the front door of the chapter house.
    • EHS will also provide copies of all reports to Campus Life which will mail them to the chapter's advisor and housing corporation contact (as currently listed with Campus Life).
    • EHS reserves the right to make unscheduled inspections in addition to the annual scheduled inspection.
    • Chapter houses that do not pass inspection after the follow-up inspection or do not have an approved correction plan in place will be removed from the authorized list of chapter houses kept on file with Campus Life and the Housing Office. Sophomore members of these chapters will be required to move back into approved, on-campus housing for that academic year.
    • Chapters that remain out of compliance will be referred to the City Code Enforcement Office for potential closure.
  2. Conduct at least one fire drill within the first two (2) weeks of each quarter. A form must be completed and filed with the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, 175 University Service Center, within two (2) weeks of the date of the fire drill.

    The form is available on-line here.

    Failure to conduct a fire drill within the first two weeks of a quarter will automatically initiate the process to remove the chapter from the authorized list of chapter houses kept on file with Campus Life and the Housing Office. Sophomore members of chapters are not allowed to reside in unauthorized chapter houses.

  3. Have a house director live in the chapter house from the first day of school in the fall to the last day in the spring. A copy of this person's contract must be on file in Campus Life, 204 Baker University Center, no later than 4 pm on Friday of the 4th week of fall quarter.
  4. Maintain safety of chapter house sleeping rooms. Each room must have a working smoke detector and a designated individual from the chapter should complete regular safety inspections of these sleeping rooms.

Failure to comply with the above guidelines will result in the loss of exemption from Ohio University policy that requires sophomores to live in University residence halls. Campus Life will notify chapters in writing if they fail to meet the minimum safety standards for chapter housing. Appeals may be made by the chapter in writing to the Director of Student Activities within five (5) working days of notification of non-compliance. The Director of Campus Life will consider the appeal and will respond in writing to the chapter within five (5) working days.

Check-List

The answer to each question should be "yes."

  • Are the fire detection and evacuation alarm systems tested in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and fire code requirements and test records?
  • Are the fire suppression (sprinkler) systems maintained and tested each year?
  • Are all building fire extinguishers charged, visually inspected at least monthly and serviced annually?
  • Are there properly labeled fire extinguishers located on each floor and in all hazardous areas?
  • Are there station protectors over each of the fire alarm pull stations?
  • Are all fire exits properly marked and lighted with exit lights, battery backup or emergency lights illuminating them?
  • Are all hallways and stairways unobstructed and free of storage, furniture, vending machines, bicycles or any other material?
  • Do all stairways and exit doors open outward in the direction of travel?
  • Are all stairways and exit doors in good working order to permit immediate exit from the building?
  • Are all doors to stairways normally kept closed and equipped with automatic closers? Do they latch positively?
  • Do all fire doors latch when closed?
  • Are stairwell and balcony handrails well maintained, tight, and safe?
  • Is there an approved single station smoke detector installed in every sleeping room as well as living areas, meeting rooms, storage rooms, hallways and corridors and stairwells?
  • Are smoke detectors cleaned at least annually?
  • Are batteries replaced in smoke detectors bi-annually? It's easiest to remember to change your batteries when you change your clock for daylight savings time.
    Are smoke detectors properly attached and not pulled away from the ceiling (hanging by its wires) or otherwise damaged?
  • Are there at least two exit routes from every area on each floor? In the event of a fire, one could become blocked.
  • Are fuse and switch boxes kept closed?
  • Are all circuits identified in the fuse box(es) and circuit breaker panels?
  • Are there sufficient electrical wall outlets provided to insure against the overloading of circuits and eliminate the use of extension cords?
  • Are electrical switches, outlets and fixtures properly covered?
  • Are extension cords used only to provide temporary power and not in place of permanent wiring?
  • Are extension cords kept to a maximum of six feet in length?
  • Are all extension cords used approved by a national testing agency, such as Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual?
  • Do multi-outlet power strips provide over-current or transient voltage surge protection for devices such as computers, printers, fax machines, appliances and analytical instruments?
  • Are special heavy-duty extension cords used for high wattage appliances such as air conditioners, portable electric heaters and freezers?
  • Are electrical cords properly secured? They should not be nailed or stapled down, have knots or be run under rugs.
  • Is the boiler room (where the primary building heating system is located) clean and free of combustible storage?
  • Is the building heating system regularly inspected and maintained by a qualified service company and a written record maintained?
  • Are walls and ceilings in the boiler room fire resistant?
  • Is the boiler room equipped with a self-closing fire rated door?
  • Is the boiler room completely enclosed?
  • Is the boiler room free of debris and trash build-up?
  • Is a portable CO2 or dry chemical fire extinguisher available in the boiler room?
  • Is there an enforced house policy which prohibits space heaters are not allowed?
  • Are all gasoline or flammable liquids in a quantity of more than one pint stored outside the building or in a locked steel cabinet?
  • Are all combustible paints, solvents, and oily rags stored in metal locker or containers?
  • Is electric blanket use controlled to provide for shut off during the day?
  • Are all bathroom electrical plates made of bakelite or other non-metallic materials?
  • Are kitchen stoves, grill ovens, grease overflow, hood ducts, fans and filters clean?
  • Is there an automatic extinguishing system on the hood? Is it inspected bi-annually?
  • Is a portable fire extinguisher available in the kitchen that is appropriate for the hazard? CO2 extinguishers cannot be used on deep fat fryers because the fire will re-ignite. Multipurpose (ABC) fire extinguishers cannot be used if there is a wet chemical extinguishing system in the hood. These chemicals reduce the effectiveness of each other, allowing fires to re-ignite.
  • Are all bunk beds spaced to allow for at least 22" clear exit between bunk beds?
  • Is there an enforced house policy against hanging fabrics and other combustibles from a ceiling?
  • Is there an enforced house policy prohibiting the use of candles or other open flames, except for normally recognized religious services?
  • Is there an enforced house policy requiring combustible materials to be kept at a safe distance or be shielded from sources of heat such as radiators or light bulbs?
  • If the house has a working fireplace, is the fireplace and chimney inspected annually by a qualified individual?
  • If the house has a working fire place, is there a tight fitting protective screen placed across the hearth opening?
  • Are all campus holiday decoration policies routinely and consistently enforced?
  • Are occupancy standards (maximum number of people allowed to occupy a given space) clearly posted in each meeting room and assembly area?
  • When a party is hosted at your fraternity or sorority house, is there a "designated dweller" (i.e., fraternity or sorority member) who is responsible to stay sober and watch for safety related hazards or problems?
  • If smoking of tobacco products is allowed in your fraternity or sorority house, are there plenty of deep, large ashtrays available?
  • After a party in your fraternity or sorority house, is someone designated to look under and around furniture cushions and upholstery for smoldering cigarette butts?