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Potsdam Prepared: Spring 2022 Updates

Fire Safety Violations in Dormitory Rooms

Top Ten Violations

  1. Lamps need to be equipped with lamp shades and light bulbs of the appropriate wattage for the fixture. Only lamps which are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed should be utilized which are marked with the maximum wattage bulb that can be used. Halogen lamps are prohibited.
  2. Candles, incense and similar open flame-producing items are not allowed in campus residence halls. Wickless candles and warmers are the exception.
  3. Components of the means of egress (exit path) shall be unobstructed at all times. No personal items (trash, shoes etc.) or furnishings should be stored in corridors or any exit path. Doors should be able to open easily and fully with no obstructions. Your room front door (opening into the corridor) is a "fire door" and should be kept closed and not be propped open and left unattended at any time. Fire doors, when properly utilized, will delay or stop the fire from spreading into other parts of the building.
  4. No draperies, tapestries, or any other decorative materials should hang from ceilings. Doors and walls should not have more than 10% of the wall or door area covered with combustible decorative material such as posters, pictures or textiles.
  5. Unfused multi-plug, cube adapters and power strips are prohibited. Multi-plugs and power strips must have overcurrent protection, plugged directly into electrical receptacles and not combined with any other power strips, extension cords or other multi-plug adapters. Power strips should not be used for refrigerator or microwave power sources. All cables and cords should be placed in safe locations to reduce damage, tripping and fire hazards. Promptly replace any cables or cords which become damaged to avoid frayed or exposed wires causing a shock hazard.
  6. Combustible materials should be kept clear of ignition sources including, luminaries, heaters or any electrical or heat producing devices. Combustible materials should not be stored in corridors, stairways or exits.
  7. No excessive accumulations of trash, rubbish or combustible waste materials shall be allowed in dormitory rooms. Accumulations of trash and combustible wastes attract rodents and insects and can become health and fire safety hazards if left unabated.
  8. Cooking or cooking appliances are prohibited in dormitory rooms (sleeping units). Some examples of prohibited items are hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, rice cookers and grills. Devices such as coffeepots, electric kettles and microwave ovens are not considered to be cooking appliances. The Townhouse apartments are considered dwelling units which included kitchens in the building design allowing cooking and cooking appliances to be used.
  9. Storage shall be maintained 2 feet or more below the ceiling in non-sprinklered areas of buildings or a minimum of 18 inches below sprinkler heads in sprinklered areas of buildings. Combustible storage within these areas can greatly contribute to the fuel source causing fire to spread more rapidly.
  10. It is prohibited for anyone to tamper with, remove or disturb any fire protection system or component. Please make sure smoke or heat detectors remain uncovered and properly secured to the ceiling. Ensure nothing is hanging from a sprinkler pipe, head or protective cage including clothes hangers, towels, wires etc. Also ensure no fire alarm pull station or fire extinguisher is blocked or hidden from view and remains accessible at all times.