Clemson University Police Department

Fire Safety Policies

Reporting a Fire

Members of the Clemson University community should report all fires by calling 911 or 864-656-2222. If you are off campus, call 911 or the local fire department.

Fire Safety System

The following is a description of each on-campus student housing facility fire safety system, including the fire sprinkler system.

All residential areas (residence halls and apartments) are equipped with sprinklers and life safety systems with the exception of Thornhill Village (an on-campus single story, duplex community). The systems are all automatic sprinkler systems that are electronically monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week by the Clemson University Police Department. The Residential Facilities Office has three NICET certified technicians on staff. These three technicians — one Level One, one Level Two and one Level Three — who perform the routine inspections, testing and maintenance of the sprinkler systems. An outside contractor provides the inspection and testing of the alarm systems (electrical) as well as the fire extinguishers.

Each residence hall (but none of the apartment areas) is equipped with an emergency generator that is designed to operate immediately once there is a loss of power and the routine testing of the generators is performed by Residential Facilities. The generators provide power for emergency lighting and the fire protection equipment in the event of a power failure.

All residence hall kitchens are equipped with an ABC fire extinguisher. All on-campus apartment communities are also equipped with an ABC fire extinguisher in the kitchen area.

To see the number of regular mandatory supervised fire drills, find the attached 2013 Clemson University Fire Protection Matrix for On-Campus Housing Facilities.

Clemson University has several policies or rules on portable electrical appliances, smoking and open flames (such as candles), procedures for evacuation and policies regarding fire safety education and training programs that are provided to students, faculty and staff.

Cooking and Food Preparation

Residence Halls: The ability to cook and prepare food in residence halls is very limited. Residents may prepare food in the hall kitchen areas.

Microwave Ovens: Microwave ovens are allowed in hall kitchens only. However, residents assigned to rooms and suites may use the combination microwave/refrigerator (MicroFridge) available for rent through a program sponsored by Student Government. Students may have a refrigerator in their room if it is 3.6 cubic feet or smaller. Any other appliance found within student rooms may lead to mandated removal of the appliance and discipline under the student code of conduct.

Apartments: Most normal kitchen appliances, including microwave ovens, may be used in apartment kitchens. These include George Foreman grills, Panini presses, slow cookers and toasters (not toaster ovens).

Grills: Grills (charcoal or propane), propane gas tanks and gas or charcoal grill supplies cannot be stored inside or outside, in any campus residential area, including apartments.

Electrical Equipment

Residents may not alter or repair any electrical equipment or fixture provided by the University. Defects in electrical equipment or wiring should be reported to the Residential Facilities Office by calling 864-656-5450. If more than two appliances with a cumulative wattage of more than 1,500 watts are plugged into a single wall outlet, a U.L.-approved power strip with a built-in circuit breaker must be used. If the power strip is approved for multi-outlet use, then two power strips per wall outlet may be used, allowing four power strips per room. Extension cords shall not be used in succession or in conjunction with power strips. Extension cords shall not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring. Space heaters, window air conditioner units, ceiling fans and similar items are prohibited.

Firearms, Explosives, Fireworks and Flammable Materials

The possession, storage or use of firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows, paintball guns, slingshots, explosives, fireworks, candles, halogen lamps, incense, dangerous chemical mixtures, propelled missiles or similar items are prohibited. Persons authorized to carry a concealed weapon per South Carolina Code of Laws section 23-31-205 are not permitted to possess a concealed weapon in an on-campus residential facility.

Fire Evacuation

Evacuation of University buildings is mandatory when a fire alarm sounds. Residents should follow posted evacuation plans/routes. Sounding of false alarms or tampering with firefighting or safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers and connecting pipes, exit signs and the alarm system is prohibited.

Smoking

Smoking is prohibited in all University housing facilities.

Window Treatments

All curtains, decorations or displays used in windows must be made of fire resistant materials.

Additional Fire Safety Information Provided to Students in On-Campus Housing

Fire safety in a residence hall or apartment is everyone's responsibility. It is important that everyone not only follow fire safety procedures but report all violations or fire hazards to the Resident Assistant immediately.

  • Smoke only in designated areas
  • Turn off electric blankets, irons, lamps and curling irons right after use.
  • Never cover lamps with any material for any reason
  • Candles and other open flame devices are not allowed in residence halls or apartments (not even for decoration)
  • Halogen lamps are not permitted in residence halls or apartments
  • Check the smoke detectors weekly. Go to residence hall and apartment front desk for replacement batteries. Check the fire extinguisher
  • Keep hallways and exit paths clear at all times
  • Do not overload circuits by plugging too many appliances into one outlet. If two or more appliances with a combined wattage of more than 1,500 watts are used, use an Underwriter Laboratory approved power strip with a built-in circuit breaker (15 amps or less)
  • Extension cords shall not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring
  • Extension cords must not be used in succession or in conjunction with power strips
  • If a fire is observed, immediately move to a safe area and call 911 to report the fire
  • If clothing catches on fire, drop to the floor and roll back and forth until the flame is out
  • ALWAYS take fire alarms seriously and leave the building by assigned routes
  • Gas grills may not be used or stored in any residential area (including apartments)
  • All curtains, decorations or displays used in windows must be made of fire resistant materials
  • Do not tamper with or remove any fire detection device, and do not hang anything from a sprinkler head

The following is a summary of staff and student employee fire safety training:

1. All full-time employees are required to complete fire extinguisher training annually

2. Graduate Staff training includes a session with the Clemson University Fire Department. Learning outcomes include the ability to:

  • understand and learn expectations regarding room inspection checklists,
  • recognize fire hazards,
  • know how to conduct fire drills,
  • know when and how to call the Clemson University Fire Department,
  • understand how to properly inspect equipment such as fire extinguishers,
  • view video related to residence hall fire safety,
  • understand their role in residence hall fire prevention and evacuation,
  • learn the correct P.A.S.S. method of putting out a fire with a fire extinguisher.

3. Resident Assistant training includes a session with the Clemson University Fire Department. Learning outcomes include the ability to:

  • know when and how to call the Clemson University Fire Department,
  • know how to properly inspect equipment such as fire extinguishers,
  • view video related to residence hall fire safety,
  • understand their role in residence hall fire prevention and evacuation,
  • learn the correct P.A.S.S. method of putting out a fire with a fire extinguisher.

Resident Assistants review procedures with their residents at the first floor meeting that includes fire safety and when/how to exit the building in an emergency. Fire drills are conducted at the start of each semester in coordination with the Clemson University Fire Department. The Clemson University Fire Department will meet with each student who has identified himself or herself as having special mobility needs to discuss their needs and establish a plan of action in case of an emergency.

Each Resident Assistant conducts a fire safety inspection of all rooms in their area, once a semester. This information is compiled and forwarded to the Clemson University Fire Department. Information in the report includes building, room, violation/concern, action, violation/concern corrected and who followed up on the matter.

4. University Housing Summer Programs: student staff members participate in two hours of residence hall safety training each summer. The students rotate through two separate sessions: Residence Hall Fire Safety 101 and Residence Hall Safety (provided by the Clemson University Police Department and the Clemson University Fire Department). Each session focuses on specific issues that could affect staff and participants while living in the residence halls during summer camps.

5. For future plans, if deemed appropriate by the institution, see attached Clemson University Fire Protection Five-Year Future Upgrade Matrix.