In our ongoing effort to make the university community safe, Fire Prevention Services performs the following primary functions:
Our staff members assist building managers in developing evacuation and emergency plans, and conduct training sessions to instruct these managers and evacuation coordinators in the proper implementation of their specific plans. We also schedule and monitor evacuation drills to ensure the use of proper procedures.
Our personnel conduct inspections of existing buildings to ensure compliance with the Life Safety Code. When our staff members note deficiencies, we generate written reports and provide assistance in developing compliance solutions.
We review construction documents for new structures and building renovation projects, and work to ensure all projects comply with provisions from the latest edition of NFPA 101: Life Safety Code. We also conduct periodic construction inspections during the building process, and monitor acceptance testing of fire protection and life safety systems.
Our office responds to inquiries from the university community regarding fire safety issues on a regular basis. Common inquiries include concerns about candles, Christmas trees, holiday decorations, portable heaters, and the proper location of barbecue grills.
Sometimes the inquiries we receive involve complaints about potential fire safety code violations, and a key function of our office is to investigate these complaints. (Examples of reported fire safety hazards include obstructed exit doors, blocked-open fire doors, and exit signs that need repair.) Our staff members investigate each complaint and, when violations exist, we team up with the appropriate authority to eliminate the hazard.
Every fire-related incident on campus requires response and investigation. Many of these incidents are false alarms or minor in nature, but we respond to and investigate each incident to ensure the university community is not endangered. We conduct investigations to determine the nature and cause of each incident. Examples of incidents our staff investigate include fire alarm activations, natural gas leaks, and reports of noxious odors in buildings.
Portable and Fixed Fire Protection Systems Duties
Portable Fire Extinguishers
Our staff members install and maintain the majority of portable fire extinguishers on campus. We work to ensure an adequate number of extinguishers are installed and available for use, perform annual inspections, and ensure that damaged units are repaired or replaced. Our personnel also conduct training classes in the proper handling and use of portable fire extinguishers.
Fixed fire protection systems include special systems installed to protect commercial cooking equipment, sensitive electrical equipment, and hazardous materials storage. We monitor the installation of new systems to ensure code compliance, and monitor existing fixed systems to ensure they are inspected and tested in accordance with National Fire Protection Association standards.
Special Event Supervision
Of the numerous special events on the university campus, many are large gatherings, and some involve the use of pyrotechnics and other potentially hazardous materials. Our personnel attend most of these functions to ensure basic fire prevention principles are followed. For example, we monitor conditions to ensure buildings are not overcrowded, exit doors are not obstructed, and hazardous materials are handled in a safe manner.