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Fire Safety at Ohio University

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Danger: Multi-Colored Floor Lamps

Fire safety at Ohio University involves a variety of measures aimed at preventing fires and ensuring the safety of faculty, staff and students. The Student Affairs, Facilities Management and Safety and OUPD work cooperatively with the Athens City Fire Department to promote fire safety in all buildings on the Athens Campus.

This cooperative relationship and other measures, including construction, training programs for resident assistants and students, and routine inspection of fire safety equipment have contributed to a safe environment for hundreds of thousands of students and employees.

Building Construction and Alarm Systems

The garages beneath the residence halls are equipped with sprinklers. Residence halls are constructed of noncombustible materials, primarily brick and concrete. Walls, hallways, ceilings and floors are made of concrete, concrete block or other noncombustible materials. Some of the residence halls are equipped with fire department standpipes, hoses, some have sprinkler systems - Adams, Biddle, Bromley, Johnson, Read, and Scott Quad (residential areas), Lincoln, Gamertsfelder, MacKinnon Shively and Voigt Halls. Each residence hall is equipped with a fire alarm system that includes manual pull stations, horns and strobe lights. All rooms contain smoke detectors, either single or multi-station (interconnected to the fire alarm panel). The fire alarm and sprinkler systems are inspected and tested according to code requirements and fire extinguishers are scheduled to be inspected monthly per code. Occupants are advised that initiating a false alarm or tampering with fire safety equipment is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and subject to prosecution by Ohio Law.

Ohio Revised Code 2909.7

Prevention and Inspection Programs

The Safety Department currently employs a fire protection engineer, who oversees the fire safety aspects of construction projects and programs on campus, conducts fire drills, works with the state code enforcement deputy fire marshal for inspections, is liaison to the Athens Fire Department, assists with Greek House Inspections, trains Residence Life staff on fire safety policies and procedures, provides educational materials to students on a variety of safety issues, oversees testing of fire protection equipment, and general university fire safety issues. University policies prohibit fire hazards in rooms such as candles, space heaters, recalled electrical appliances and cooking equipment that may pose a fire hazard or contribute to Nuisance Fire Alarms when used in areas that are not "kitchens" (residence hall rooms) such as toasters, toaster ovens, electric grills, skillets, fryers, etc. The Safety Department requests the opportunity to conduct residence hall staff attend an orientation on fire alarms and evacuation procedures at the start of fall quarter. The Safety Department conducts a fire drill during the first two weeks of each semester at each residence hall.


Ohio University records of campus fires date to the 1960s when enrollment grew rapidly and 15 residence halls were constructed on the New South Green to accommodate the growth. Since 1967, there have been only six significant fires that have caused damage to individual residence hall rooms. Other smaller fires have been quickly detected by fire alarm systems and extinguished. None of the fires extended beyond a single room. There have been no injuries or deaths due to fires.