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Fire Safety Alert

Recently this campus was inspected by representatives of the Office of Fire Prevention and Control, a branch of the Department of State for the State of New York. This annual inspection (and subsequent re-inspection) is mandated by law to insure safety from fires on all college campuses. The main cause of violations for our campus was the blocking open or obstruction of fire doors and smoke doors. The NY State Fire Code states "Fire doors and smoke door barrier doors shall not be blocked or obstructed or otherwise made inoperable. Fire door assemblies shall not be modified." Fire doors are to remain closed at all times unless held open by 'approved hold-open devices' connected to the fire alarm system. In consideration of these regulations, the following tips are submitted:

  1. Fire doors are separating doors from hallway to hallway, opening protective doors to all stairways, protective doors to mechanical rooms and heating rooms, and doors protecting residential areas. They are to remain closed at all times.

  2. Remove all material used to block open fire and smoke barrier doors. This may take some diligence as door chocks keep returning.

  3. Remove all mechanical devices (door stops) installed on the door to keep it open. This may involve reporting the door to facilities to have the door stops removed.

  4. Remind all personnel that fire doors are to remain closed at all times and blocking them open is a violation of the fire codes.

Another major violation witnessed is the use of extension cords in lieu of permanent wiring. The NY State fire code states: "Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be a substitute for permanent wiring. Extension cords shall not be affixed to structures, extended through walls, ceilings or floors, or under doors or floor coverings, not shall such cords be subjected to environmental damage or physical impact." If your area or office is using extension cords, please:

  1. Remove all extension cords from the area.

  2. Contact facilities and report the use of extension cords for future planning of electrical wiring.

  3. Never use extension cords with multi-plug adapters.

  4. Remember, extension cords are for 'daily' use of electrical appliances such as audio/visual devices, projectors and similar devices. They are not to be used in place of permanent wiring.

We all have to help to reduce and remove fire code violations. Your help is greatly appreciated.