Fire Safety Policies

Fire Safety Policy for Students

As Franklin & Marshall Students, you have rights regarding personal safety and security. In order to ensure these rights for you and your fellow students, you must abide by certain policies.  Fulfilling these policies and requirements is your responsibility as a student at F&M. Disciplinary action will be imposed for failing to comply; given the seriousness of the issue of fire safety, disciplinary outcomes may be imposed in greater or lesser severity as described in this policy in the sole discretion of the College.

In the event of a fire, the building fire alarm should be activated and the Department of Public Safety should be called (ext. 3939) to have them assist in evacuating residents. Students should familiarize themselves with the location of fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers, exits and a designated meeting place during alarms. Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, heat detectors, sprinkler heads and pull stations are installed for the protection of building occupants, and are wired directly to the Department of Public Safety.

Tampering with fire protection systems or turning in a false alarm is a violation of the Lancaster City Fire Code and the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is classified as a felony, punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment of up to five years. A student found guilty of this felony also could be expelled from the College.

This policy extends to all residential facilities including, but not limited to, all College owned and approved housing.

Student Fire Safety Expectations:

  • Health & Safety Inspections — Random Health & Safety inspections will take place throughout the year. Any safety violation will be recorded.

  • Fire Alarms — When the fire alarm in your building sounds, it is your responsibility to leave the building immediately. Although some fire alarms are false, you must treat every fire alarm as if a real fire is occurring. Maliciously pulling a fire alarm is a serious offense. It disrupts the life of every resident in the building and places at risk the lives of the responding fire personnel and resident staff. If you witness an alarm being pulled falsely, notify your HA immediately.

  • Fire Extinguishers — Fire extinguishers are placed in specific locations throughout each residence hall. These extinguishers should be used only in the event of an actual fire. Misuse of a fire extinguisher is a very dangerous act.

  • Door Propping — The first step toward a safe community is keeping the exterior door properly locked. Propping open a building door leaves the building and its residents vulnerable to all crimes. The FOB access system for each residence hall door monitors propping. In the event that a door is propped open for more than 60 seconds, a silent alarm sounds to which the Franklin & Marshall DPS will respond.

  • Prohibited items in residential facilities (except in designated approved areas such as kitchens)

  • Non UL extension cords are not allowed. Only UL approved power strips with surge protection are allowed.

  • Space heaters and heating blankets

  • Any style of halogen light or lamp

  • Octopus lights and lamps (any light with more than three "arms")

  • Grills are not permitted inside facilities. Lighter fluid is prohibited in all areas.

  • All non-College mattresses are prohibited in the residence halls.

  • All types of foam mattress topper (egg crate, memory foam, etc.) are particularly flammable and are therefore prohibited.

  • The College reserves the right to determine whether personal furnishings (chairs, couches, mattresses, lamps, etc.) are appropriate due to code, policy, or space issues.

  • Heat-producing appliances.  This includes coffee makers, toasters, toaster ovens, hot plates, etc.   They can only be located in kitchen or kitchenette areas.

  • Candles, incense, hookahs, and other sources of open flame. These items should not be brought to campus.

  • Firecrackers/fireworks, gasoline, propane tanks, or other highly combustible items

Other issues  

  • Smoking is prohibited in all residence halls.

  • Construction of partitions, bunk beds, lofts, and other additions to your room is not allowed.

  • Posters, flags and other wall hangings must be used sparingly. They are not to be hung from the ceiling or in a location that will cover or interfere with light fixtures, outlets, or other appliances.

  • Exits may not be blocked or used for storage

Description of Violations and Common Outcomes

Level I Violations

Infractions could include:

  • Use of extension cords

  • Use of room partitions or dividers of any kind

  • Use of unapproved bed risers, cinderblocks, or lofted furniture of any kind

  • Presence of unused candles or incense

  • Prevention of egress through any residence room door, window, or window seat area (e.g. tapestries, beads, furniture, rugs, etc. blocking access)

  • Wall décor that attaches to ceilings or connects one wall to another (e.g. tapestries, posters, etc.)

  •  Presence of a tapestry that is not flame retardant

  • Connecting more than two strings of light together in a residence hall or apartment space

  • Propping of exterior doors

Common Outcomes

  • Educational conversation with staff member

  • Removal of violation by College Official (if applicable)

Level II Violations

Infractions could include:

  • Repetition of minor violations

  • Presence of used candles, incense, ashtrays 

  • Presence of halogen lamp

  • Use of electrical appliances (e.g., toaster ovens, stand-alone microwaves, heating coils, cookers, grills, etc.) outside of an apartment kitchen or residence hall kitchenette

  • Smoking, including vaping, of any substance inside any campus-managed building or residence hall (includes the presence of evidence of smoking. i.e. ash and/or butts in the window)

Common Outcomes

  • Disciplinary Warning or Reprimand

  • Possible educational condition

  • Removal of violation by College Official (if applicable)

Level III Violations

Infractions could include:

  • Covering or attaching items to fire safety equipment in an on-campus residence, including sprinklers, smoke detectors, heat detectors, etc.

  • Presence of lit candles or burning incense

  • Misuse of firefighting equipment (i.e. unwarranted discharging of fire extinguisher) 

  • Presence of unattended lit candles and incense

Common Outcomes

  • Disciplinary Probation or Suspension

  • Housing Probation or Possible removal from housing

  • Educational conditions

  • Removal of violation by College Official (if applicable)

  • Restitution for any damages or fines incurred by College or community members