The University of Texas at Austin is committed to making campus residence halls safe and secure, and demonstrates this commitment through its financial investments in fire sprinkler, fire alarm, and emergency power systems. The Fire Prevention Services office and Division of Housing and Food Service further this commitment with their joint fire safety training and inspection program for residence halls, which is briefly overviewed below.
Fire Sprinkler Systems
All residence halls on campus are protected by automatic fire sprinkler systems. The massive project of retrofitting existing residence halls with fire sprinkler systems was completed in the summer of 2006, making the university one of only two universities in Texas with 100% sprinkler system protection in dormitories.
Fire Alarm Systems
All residence halls have automatic fire alarm systems to alert residents should a fire occur. These systems typically consist of manual pull-boxes located at exit doors, with smoke detector systems in corridors and common areas. Single-station, hard-wired smoke detectors are installed in all dorm rooms as well.
Emergency Lighting Systems
All residence halls are provided with emergency power systems, which activate if primary power is lost. There is emergency lighting in assembly rooms, corridors and exit stairwells.
All residence halls have emergency evacuation plans and conduct periodic drills to ensure residents are familiar with evacuation procedures.
Fire Safety Guidelines
Fire safety guidelines are established for all residence halls. Examples include prohibitions on smoking, using candles, and certain electrical appliances. You may view complete health, fire, and safety guidelines for residence halls in the Division of Housing and Food Service Residence Hall Manual (PDF).
Fire Safety Training
All residents are provided information regarding fire safety guidelines with their Residence Hall Handbook. In addition, resident assistants (RAs) receive special training in residence hall fire safety guidelines.
Fire Safety Management
Designated Housing and Food Service staff conduct inspections of every dorm room twice each semester. Safety hazards noted during these inspections are identified and corrected. Students who violate fire safety regulations receive additional safety training, and repeated violations may result in disciplinary action.