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Resident Life Fire Safety

News: Danger with Multi-Colored Floor Lamps

Fire Safety is taken very seriously at O.U. It is customary that at the beginning of every quarter, your hall will conduct a fire drill. Please comply fully with the building evacuation and re-entry procedures during these drills. Any time you hear a fire alarm, pick up your keys, pull your door shut, and leave the building immediately. Never use the elevator. Take the time to learn where the fire alarms and exit routes are from any room in your building (you won't always be in your own room when the alarm sounds or when you spot smoke or flames). If you encounter smoke or flames in the building, pull the nearest fire alarm and leave the building immediately, and call 911.

Never tamper with fire safety equipment. In addition to the pull stations, alarm horns and lights, exit and emergency lights and fire extinguishers, every room is equipped with a smoke detector. Never attempt to disable or cover the room smoke detector. Never store trash, bicycles, furniture or other items in hallways or stairwells. These items could easily impede a safe exit from the building in the event of a fire. Never prop open mod and stairwell doors. In the event of a fire, deadly smoke and fumes will be effectively stopped by a closed door and will provide much-needed time for occupants to safely exit the building.

No candles or open flame devices! If you have one for any reason, send it home immediately or ask you RA to store it for you until you can remove it to your home or until the end of the school year. The most recent fires on this campus as well as others across the country have been started by unattended burning candles. Therefore, our rule is no candles, period. Also, no oil lamps heaters, grills or other open flame devices.

Keep the "fire load" in your room and building to a minimum. It's not the building itself that burns most easily, but the flammable material with which we fill the building. Remove trash to the dumpster on a regular and frequent basis. The amount of wall decorations in your room should be limited to 25% of the wall surface. Never hang or attach anything to the ceiling (with the exception of the sticky "glow stars").

Torchiere halogen lamps use a tubular halogen light bulb which generate so much heat that they can serve as a source of ignition of flammable material near them. Purchase only new fixtures that are U.L. listed. Always place these lamps away from curtains, bedding, wall decorations, etc. Turn it off whenever you leave the room.

Electrical Safety

Very few of our residence hall rooms have a sufficient number of electrical wall outlets to accommodate all of the appliances which you'll have with you or be in locations which will be most convenient to your chosen room layout. Therefore, when you are trying to be creative, please follow these electrical safety "do's" and "don'ts".

Never tamper with university wiring such as by removing or replacing a light fixture or electrical outlet. Do not wire any appliance or equipment directly into the university wiring.

All electrical equipment and appliances must be in good repair. The plugs and insulation on the wires must be intact, motors clean, and guards in place. All electrical appliances used in the Residence Halls must be U.L. listed.

Some electrical appliances must always be plugged directly into a wall outlet. These include the microwave oven portion of your "Microfridge" unit, power-strips/surge-protectors, and room air conditioning units. Only one high wattage appliance should be plugged into a duplex outlet (this means a power strip or the microwave oven, but not both, and only one power strip per duplex outlet if it doesn't already have a microwave oven or air-conditioner plugged into it).

The only safe and approved way to increase the number of outlets available for the rest of your electrical appliances is with the use of U.L. listed power strips/surge protectors that have a built-in circuit breaker or fuse.These power "extenders" can accommodate four to eight individual appliances (provided a total of 15 amps is not exceeded) If additional distance remains to reach the cord of a particular appliance, an extension cord can be used between the power strip and the appliance provided that only one item is plugged into the extension cord. (A multiple-outlet extension cord may be used for multiple low-wattage, non-heating appliances such as clocks, radios, answering machines, aquarium pumps, portable phones, etc). The thickness of the extension cord must be at least the same as the appliance it serves. Avoid running electrical cords under carpeting or piles of clothing or across locations where the cord can be damaged by foot traffic or pinching by doors, drawers, etc.

Don't defeat a three-pronged extension cord, or appliance by using two-prong "adapters".

For fire safety reasons, electric heating devices such as space heaters, toasters, toaster ovens, sandwich makers, food dehydrators, woks, waffle irons, hot plates/heating coils, electric skillets, and crock-pots are prohibited. Electrical heating devices that are allowed include electric blankets, irons, blow dryers, hot rollers, and curling irons, as well as hot pots (to heat water only), popcorn poppers and coffeemakers. Please do not leave these permitted items on and unattended! Locate fans in places where there can be free air movement and clean the fan periodically to prevent it from overheating.