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Potsdam Prepared: Spring 2022 Updates

Fire Safety Violations in Office Spaces

Top Ten Violations

  1. 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.
  2. Any portable space heaters utilized have to be UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed, have an auto shutoff if tipped over feature, plugged directly into a wall receptacle and be maintained at least 3 feet away from combustibles during operation. This includes any clothing hanging on the back of your chair!
  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.
  4. Combustible materials should be kept clear of ignition sources including, luminaries, heaters or any other electrical or heat producing devices. Combustible materials should not be stored in corridors, stairways or exits. 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.
  5. Lamps need to be equipped with light bulbs of the appropriate wattage for the fixture. Only lamps which are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed and marked with the maximum wattage bulb for that fixture can be utilized. Halogen lamps are prohibited on campus.
  6. Ensure no fire alarm pull station, audio/visual device or fire extinguisher is blocked or hidden from view and remains accessible at all times. Ensure nothing is hanging from a sprinkler pipe, head or protective cage including clothes hangers, wires etc.
  7. Ensure access to electrical panels and sub panels is maintained at all times. A working space of not less than 30 inches in width, 36 inches in depth, and 78 inches in height shall be provided in front of electrical service equipment.
  8. Extension cords are used for temporary use only, plugged directly into a wall receptacle and not combined with any other extension cord, power strip or multi-plug. Extension cords should only be used for one device and be unplugged when not in use. Appliances such as refrigerators and microwave ovens should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle without the use of an extension cord.
  9. Your office or office suite 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, unless it is held open by a magnet that will release when the fire alarm system is activated. All fire doors should be equipped with an automatic closing device which will close and latch the door when released from the open position. Fire doors when properly utilized and maintained will delay or stop the fire from spreading into other parts of the building allowing the occupants greater time to evacuate safely.
  10. Every building occupant, faculty and staff member should review the Campus Emergency Evacuation Plan and become familiar with the locations of the nearest fire extinguisher, fire alarm pull station, exit paths and designated assembly areas. The Campus Emergency Evacuation Plan can be viewed online.