Fire safety is one of the most important "safety" considerations on any college/university campus, in part because it is not just some minor program managed by a single department. Rather, it is a complex system that concerns itself with both the design/maintenance of the many structures that make up the Hamilton College campus proper, as well as the behaviors of every student, employee and visitor. While the January 2000 Seton Hall dormitory fire was a momentous tragedy, the tangible result of this incident in New York State was new legislation and inspection/enforcement activities to hold all NYS colleges/universities accountable to full conformance with the fire code on an annual basis.
The New York State Office of Fire Prevention & Control (OFPC) conducts annual "wall-to-wall" inspections of the entire Hamilton College campus each September, and assists the College with a number of student and employee training programs. While an effective fire safety program is not necessarily measured by the College getting through an annual inspection with zero violations, it is nonetheless important for the Hamilton College community to understand what the OFPC is looking for. The following document is provided as an education tool to communicate the most frequent issues found during these annual inspections, and it also lays out some of the most noteworthy policy obligations that apply in our residences and work stations.
Additional Info For Students & Employees
The following flyers are provided to the College community to summarize the main fire safety do's and don'ts. Please familiarize yourselves with the info contained herein.
The conduct of fire drills is one of the College's many fire safety obligations. By NYS law, Hamilton must conduct at least 4 fire drills in each residence hall and 3 fire drills in all other non-residential facilities on an annual basis. Additional fire drills are required during the summer months for student and camp housing. Cumulatively, that's more than 200 fire drills Hamilton College must perform on an annual basis. Please be sure to evacuate your space promptly for every fire alarm signal you detect, and know the location of your initial gathering points. Employees should contact their respective Building Coordinators and students should contact their respective RA's for initial gathering point information. See the Emergency Planning & Preparedness link for additional information.
The erection/use of temporary membrane structures (i.e. tents and canopies) is but another activity that is regulated from a fire safety perspective. Please see the document that follows for more information regarding these devices.