2020 Annual Student Housing Fire Safety Report

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Brockport Firetruck

SUNY Brockport, like all institutions of higher learning, is dedicated to the personal and professional development of its students and staff and to the overall betterment of our shared community.  We strive towards these goals through scholarship, mentorship and fellowship in a safe, secure and nurturing environment.  

This publication is your guide to our on-campus student residence fire safety policies and requirements.  You will also find a description of the campus’s student residence fire safety conditions and fire history.  This information is made available to students, potential students, and their parents in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of November 8, 1990.

Our Promise -  SUNY Brockport promises to reveal to each student each day his or her capacity for intellectual, physical and creative accomplishment.

Our promise is the fundamental statement of the work of SUNY Brockport.  Through our unwavering commitment to our students – each student, each day– we help them to see their potential – reveal their capacity – in the three main modes of human expression – the intellectual, the physical and the creative – so that they may accomplish their dreams.

To fulfill this promise demands the tireless dedication of the campus community, strong and supportive faculty-student relationships, and respect for and recognition of all areas of study and human endeavor as worthwhile to the development of the whole person. 

Definitions

Fire – Any instance of open flame or other burning in a place not intended to contain the burning or in an uncontrolled manner.

Unintentional Fire – a fire that does not involve an intentional human act to ignite or spread fire into an area where fire should not be.

Intentional Fire – a fire that is ignited by, or that results from, a deliberate human action in circumstances where the person knows there should not be a fire.

Undetermined Fire – a fire for which the cause cannot be determined.

Fire-related Injury – any instance in which a person is injured as a result of fire, including an injury sustained from natural or accidental cause while involved in fire control, attempting rescue, or escaping from the dangers of the fire.  The term “person” may include students, employees, visitors, fire fighters, or any other individuals.

Fire-related Death – any instance in which a person is killed as a result of a fire, including death resulting from natural or accidental causes while involved in fire control, attempting rescue, or escaping from the dangers of a fire, or, a death within one year of injuries sustained as a result of the fire.

Value of Property Damage – the estimated value of the loss of the structure and contents, in terms of the replacement in like kind and quantity.  The estimate includes contents damaged by fire, and related damages caused by smoke, water, and overhaul; however, it does not include indirect loss, such as business interruption.

Student Residence Alarm and Evacuation Policy

Do not sound an alarm unless there is real cause and do not fail to activate the alarm when real cause is present.No resident or visitor may activate any alarm or attempt to manipulate any electrical or mechanical device for the purpose of creating a false fire alarm.  However, every resident and visitor has the responsibility to help ensure their own safety and the safety of other residents by activating an alarm and evacuating whenever they reasonably believe a fire is present.   

In addition to activating alarms, fires, fire safety issues or concerns can be reported to the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office (all positions and titles), University Police (all positions and titles) or to Residential Life representatives (all positions and titles).  The primary fire safety office is Facilities and Planning.  Emergency response and planning is the primary responsibility of University Police.

All evacuation alarms and emergency voice notification system messages are to be taken seriously and evacuation is mandatory. There are many reasons that may necessitate the need for a building to be evacuated (e.g., fire, spill, natural gas leak, flood, etc.). A building may not be re-entered until the “all clear” has been given by emergency personnel (i.e., campus or local emergency responders). 

It is a requirement of the New York State Office of Fire Protection and Control and New York State Law that all occupants evacuate the building once a fire alarm is activated, whether it is a drill or not.

Fire doubles, on average, every 30 seconds so each and every moment counts before and during an emergency.  Unfortunately, many people are afraid to activate a fire alarm, even if they smell or see smoke, out of fear that they would be doing something “wrong”, would “get into trouble” or “make a fuss.”   
The fact is, though, that many fires smolder for minutes or even hours before fully igniting.   A person may become aware of smoke or fire long before it has progressed far enough to activate automated alarms and even longer before it has reached a level that would activate automatic sprinklers.   Activating alarms manually when there is a need saves time and helps save lives.  

Don’t be afraid to raise the alarm.

Do you need urgent assistance? Would you like to ask a question, voice a concern, request a repair or just ask for someone to help walk you home?  You can get assistance at:  

  • University Police Emergency: (585) 395-2222 
  • University Police Non-Emergency: (585) 395-2226
  • Campus escorts: (585) 395-SAFE (7233)
  • Residential Life: (585) 395-2122 or (585) 395-2108
  • Facilities & Planning Service Center: (585) 395-2408 
  • Environmental Health and Safety: (585) 395-2005 

During an Evacuation Alarm:

  • Wear your face covering while leaving the building, assembling, and re-entering the building.
  • Grab only small items close to you. If they are in the same room as you, take your keys and phone with you.
  • If it is safe to do so, close windows in your room.
  • As the last person leaves a room or area, they should close the door behind them. Do not lock the door.
  • Evacuate the building quickly, but do not run. Do not panic.
    • While it is important to maintain social distance, you should not delay exiting the building in order to do so in the event of any emergency.
  • All occupants will use the nearest exit. If this exit is not usable, go to the next closest available exit.
    • In areas where separate entrances/exits have been established, it is important to note that these do not apply in the event of an emergency. Individuals should use the nearest exit.
  • Do not use elevators during a fire alarm. They are programmed to be shut down during a fire alarm.
  • After you have left the building, proceed to the nearest designated assembly area and social distance from others.
  • Never re-enter a building without the “all clear” from emergency personnel (i.e., campus or local emergency responders).
  • When re-entering the building, maintain social distance from others. Upon re-entering the building, avoid congregating in the entranceway or lobby. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. Elevator capacity is restricted to a maximum of 4 individuals per elevator.

Individuals in Quarantine or Isolation:

  • Please familiarize yourself with the evacuation route map posted on your bedroom door and the Designated Assembly Areas on campus. In the event of a building evacuation, proceed to the nearest exit with your mask on. While it is important to maintain social distance, you should not delay exiting the building in order to do so in the event of any emergency. Once outside, proceed to the designated assembly area. Also, follow social distancing protocols by remaining 6’ from other individuals. Wait for further instructions from emergency personnel. You will be notified when it is safe to re-enter the building. When re-entering the building, maintain social distance from others and avoid congregating in the entranceway or lobby. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.
  • Smoking or vaping indoors is not permitted on college property both indoors and outdoors, unless officially designated otherwise. You may contact the Student Health Center for a smoking cessation consultation at (585) 395-2414 if you are finding it difficult not to smoke while in quarantine or isolation.

Individuals in Need of Exit Assistance:

It is recommended that those individuals who may need assistance in exiting a building work with a colleague to develop a communication plan. It is generally advised that you:

  • Wait in the nearest area of refuge. If the building you are in does not have an area of refuge, wait inside a stairwell (one that is separated from the hallway with doors). If this is not possible, go into an office that has a window, attempt to block the bottom of the door with clothing, and wait by the window.
  • Call University Police at (585) 395-2222 to inform them of your location.
  • A colleague should also call University Police at (585) 395-2222 or find an on-scene emergency responder, and report the location of the individual.

The following evacuation procedures must be followed.

Designated Assembly Areas

The campus has selected parking lots near buildings to serve as designated assembly areas. This places the occupants far enough from the building to protect them while also ensuring that emergency services have access to the areas where they will need to stage themselves. To see a map of all of the designated assembly areas on the SUNY Brockport campus, visit Designated Assembly Areas.

In the event of an emergency, staff from University Police, Facilities and/or Environmental Health and Safety, or emergency responders may be directing you to an appropriate assembly area. The RAVE Alert system and Eagle Guardian app may also be used to communicate this information. Please do not choose to assemble in an area that may be closer to the building, as this may put you in danger and be in the way of emergency responders.

Student Residence Fire Safety Policy

Each resident is required to be familiar with and abide by the fire and fire safety regulations applicable to their assigned room, suite, or other area and their assigned Residence Hall as a whole. 

Fire Safety Tips

  • Keep fire evacuation routes accessible.  An emergency may occur at any time; therefore your escape routes must constantly be available.
  • Unplug electrical devices when not in use.  Make sure curling irons, regular irons, and other appliances are unplugged after use.  Never store until they are cool enough to touch.
  • Know the location of fire extinguishers and fire alarms in your Residence Hall/Student Townhome.
  • Don’t keep stacks of newspapers or excessive amounts of trash in your room.
  • Be alert for fire dangers.  
  • Follow all fire safety requirements and promptly report fire safety violations.

Specific Prohibitions

The following are strictly prohibited anywhere in a SUNY Brockport Residence Hall:

  • Overloading of electrical outlets.
  • Multi-plug adaptors or extension cords of any type (plug strips, e.g., surge protectors, with a fuse are allowed if they are plugged directly into an outlet - no daisy chains of plug strip to plug strip.
  • Running cords under rugs, through doorways, or through other areas where they may be pinched, crushed, or worn.
  • The possession or use of any halogen "torchiere" or five-light multi-colored floor lamps.
  • The burning of candles and incense (battery operated candles and plug in aroma scents are allowed).
  • Overloading with combustible materials such as papers, posters, or fabric. 
  • Using holiday or decorative lights unsafely, e.g., plugging one into another, placing them behind flammable materials/fabric, or hanging them in or around an entryway. 
  • Tapestries covering more than 25% of the single wall surface or placed on the ceiling. 
  • Covering lamps with items such as scarves, clothes, or towels. 
  • Tube, rope, or string lighting of any type.
  • The possession or use of lanterns, volatile solutions or fuels, explosives, fireworks, or other dangerous materials.
  • The possession or use of open-element space heaters.
  • Smoking in any residence or within 25 feet of any building.
  • The storage, cooking, and other preparation of food anywhere in a residence hall unless the College has provided "or expressly sanctioned" refrigerators, ranges, ovens, microwave ovens, or other facilities clearly designed to be used for such purpose(s).
  • Causing a false alarm, discharging a fire extinguisher, breaking or damaging an exit light, activating a heat or smoke detector, or removing or tampering with any fire or safety equipment is strictly prohibited.  Law prohibits the covering of smoke detectors.
  • Any item, behavior, or action that impedes egress from the building, compromises fire alarm system or sprinkler system operation, or diminishes the overall fire safety of the residence.

Electrical Appliance Requirements

All electrical appliances must be UL or ETL approved and in good working order.  Electrical appliances are not permitted which: (1) have exposed heating units; and (2) are used for cooking foods, except hotpots, popcorn poppers and coffee makers contained in an enclosed unit.  Any cooking equipment that can produce grease or has an exposed heating element is prohibited.  One microwave oven not to exceed 700 watts and one refrigerator not to exceed 5 cubic feet are permitted in each bedroom.

The College reserves the right to limit or prohibit altogether the use of any appliance which causes or may cause unusual energy usage and/or constitutes a potential fire hazard.  Each resident must provide a surge protector for his or her computer.

Do you use a clothes iron, clothes steamer, hair curler, straightener or other small electric appliance?  These everyday appliances generate considerable heat and can easily scorch surfaces and create smoke or fires.  In one semester alone hair straighteners not being used or stored appropriately caused 24 separate fire alarms.  

Always:

  • Disconnect small appliances from power when they are not in use.  
  • Allow small appliances to fully cool before being stored.

Never:

  • Leave small appliances unattended.

Room Inspections

Per State requirement, residence halls rooms will be inspected once each academic year by an inspection team consisting of a State Fire Inspector and a representative from the Offices of Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities and Planning, and Residential Life/Learning Communities.  The College may conduct additional inspections at any time.  If violations are found, residents must correct them immediately.  If the violation(s) is (are) present upon re-inspection, the student(s) will be referred to the Student Conduct System.  Any prohibited materials, devices, or objects discovered during inspection will be confiscated and appropriate action taken under applicable laws and/or College rules and regulations. 

Fire Drills

A minimum of four fire drills are held in each residence hall per year.  These drills are a mix of announced and unannounced drills and day and evening drills.  Residents must evacuate the building immediately when the alarm sounds. 

Fire Safety Training and Education

All Resident Assistants (RA) and Resident Directors (RD) receive fire training and education each year.  The initial residence hall meeting with students includes fire safety, fire alarm responsibilities and evacuation procedures.  Fire drills are an important part of fire safety training and are held in accordance with Office of Fire Prevention and Control standards.  All students may also avail themselves of the fire safety training and fire extinguisher training provided on campus periodically.

Students are given a copy of “Residence Hall Fire Safety” when they check-in at their residence halls.  This document contains the fire alarm policy and the fire evacuation procedures for the residence halls.  The students also receive a copy of the “Residence Hall license” which includes listings of items that are prohibited in the residence halls for fire and safety reasons and addresses the misuse of fire equipment including fire alarm systems in the residence halls.

The NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control training criteria is met when training RAs and RDs prior to the beginning of the fall semester and also for new RAs/RDs prior to the beginning of the spring semester.  The OFPC training PowerPoint presentation has been customized to meet fire safety issues that are site specific to SUNY Brockport.  The training lasts over 120 minutes and includes hands-on fire extinguisher training.  Students can also view an EHS Orientation video that provided information on fire safety, emergency response, chemical safety and green/sustainable practices.

Community Involvement and Plans for Future Improvement

  • SUNY Brockport participates through the Committee on Community and University Relations in cooperation with the Village of Brockport.  This committee shares information regarding housing of students in apartments, crime incidents, and fire safety issues.  We have worked with the Village of Brockport Building Inspector on fire safety training issues, he has attended training sessions with RDs and RAs, and there has been an increase in inspections and citations issued to owners of off-campus student housing.  Ongoing discussions with the Village of Brockport Building Inspector indicate more cooperation on this issue in the future.
  • Newly constructed residential facilities as well as those that undergo reconstruction, as defined by the building code of New York State, must be fully sprinklered and provided with complete fire and smoke detection and alarm systems.
  • The College actively cooperates with the Brockport Fire Department who utilizes our residence halls (especially high rise buildings) for fire safety training in order to maintain their competence and familiarity with our buildings.  They also inspect and review any new buildings as part of a cooperative effort to assure buildings are fire safe. College at Brockport representatives meet with the Brockport Fire Department on a regular basis to discuss common goals and objectives and any fire related issues that need to be addressed. 

Residence Halls Fire Safety Data

Last Updated 9/10/21