Fire safety is a shared responsibility at Hamilton College. Departments including Campus Safety, Facilities Management, Community Living and Environmental Protection & Safety have important fire safety leadership responsibilities.

Awareness & Training

The Office of Environmental Protection and Safety provides fire safety training (including fire extinguisher training) to both Community Advisors and employees.

To facilitate fire safety awareness across all campus facilities, fire safety plans provide egress paths, emergency equipment, and muster/assembly points for each building. All who live and work at Hamilton should become familiar with the fire safety plans for the buildings they frequent, and integrate fire safety principles into both their academic and daily lives.

Fire Safety Plans

Regulatory Compliance & the NYS OFPC

Fire safety compliance includes both the substantial efforts expended to build and maintain safe and compliant facilities, as well as the annual NYS Office of Fire Prevention & Control (OFPC) inspections each fall to verify Hamilton’s compliance posture. However, the OFPC inspection program is just as concerned with day-to-day behaviors that either defeat installed fire safety systems, or introduce uncontrolled hazards into our facilities. The links below provide regulatory or policy guidance regarding how to avoid OFPC fire safety violations in the first place.

Fire & Other Emergency Preparedness Drills

In accordance with NYS law, Hamilton must perform four fire drills per year in all student residential facilities, and three fire drills per year in all other occupied/non-residential facilities. Since various legal criteria apply regarding the conduct of fire drills, Campus Safety as a general rule will not announce the time of or location where fire drills are to be performed. And please always react to a fire alarm signal as if it’s the “real thing”, even if you know it’s only a fire drill.

As a part of the College’s broader Emergency Planning efforts, Hamilton will also conduct at least one “shelter-in-place” drill and one or more table-top/live action drills with local external emergency response organizations on an annual basis.

Other Fire Safety Information

Kerry Rose Fire Sprinkler Notification Act

In accordance with this NYS law, and by way of the both the Fire Safety Plans noted above or Campus Safety’s Annual Safety, Security and Fire Safety Report, Hamilton College hereby notifies all students living in on-campus housing that 100% of its residential facilities are equipped with fire sprinkler systems. Additionally, since many other non-residential facilities are also equipped with fire sprinklers, students/employees may heighten their awareness of Hamilton’s fire safety capabilities through respective fire safety plan links.

For certain other off-campus residential facilities, the following fire sprinkler notification information applies:

  • New York City Program (Ocean Residences):
    • Facility has partial fire sprinklers covering dwelling units, hallways, refuse rooms, the lobby and basement, but excludes all stairwells.
  • Washington DC Program (Calvert Woodley Apartments):
    • Facility has partial fire sprinklers limited to public spaces only.
Tent, Canopy and Other Temporary Membrane Structure Procedures

The erection/use of tents, canopies and other temporary membrane structures are regulated by the NYS fire code unless they are exempt (see below). Such tents and canopies must be approved by Environmental Protection, Safety & Sustainability, Facilities Management and Procurement. Those wishing to order a tent/canopy can do so by submitting this form.

Tents used exclusively for recreational camping purposes are exempt from these procedures, as are most canopies at or below 200 square feet (10’ by 20’). Tents or canopies used for athletic tailgating purposes must follow the College Events Office’s guidelines at this site.

Lithium-Ion Battery Powered Micro-Mobility Devices

Due to the potential hazards associated with lithium-ion battery fires, Hamilton recently implemented a limited ban specific to the indoor charging of “micro-mobility devices” (i.e. e-bikes, e-scooters, hover boards, etc.,) on campus. Students or employees with such devices powered by lithium-ion batteries may utilize outdoor GFCI protected outlets for their charging needs, and Campus Safety registration through the Transportation Office is required for each device used/stored on campus.

Smoking & Vaping

By College policy and the New York State Clean Indoor Air Act, smoking and vaping is prohibited in all College buildings, entranceways and College owned/leased vehicles. As a further courtesy, smokers/vapers should stay at least 25 feet away from all buildings to protect non-smokers from unwanted exposure to environmental tobacco smoke/vapor. 

Open Flame & Candle Safety (Inside Buildings)

By College policy and New York State fire safety regulations, open flames or candles are strictly limited to the requirements specified in this procedure.


Brian Hansen

Director of Environmental Protection, Safety and Sustainability

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