Although the potential for fire always exists, routine inspections, maintenance and training are effective elements in reducing bodily injury, loss of life, and damage to property.

Faculty, staff, and students should all be knowledgeable of those elements that cause fires and how to eliminate them. All persons should be aware of the fire safety regulations and conditions that have the potential to start a fire such as the use of extension cords or the improper storage of chemicals, paint, cleaning supplies, rags, papers, etc.

Routine inspections and maintenance of fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, fire hydrants, smoke alarms, emergency call boxes, alarms, and fire fighting equipment are essential. At the same time, each facility should have posted evacuation plans, illuminated exit signs, functional emergency lights, self closing fire doors, and any necessary special fire safety equipment.

Procedures to Follow in the Event of a Fire

Any person seeing or suspecting a fire should pull the nearest fire alarm pull station and call 911. If the fire is small, such as a wastebasket fire, a reasonable attempt to extinguish the flames should be made. Even though the fire may be completely extinguished, the incident must be reported to University Police and the Cookeville Fire Department as the underlying cause for the fire may still be remaining.

Fire Prevention

1. Waste must be stored and properly disposed of to prevent the creation of a fire and safety hazard.
2. Flammable materials should be stored in a properly labeled flame resistant cabinet.
3. Do not overload outlets with multiple outlet cords or multiple plug adapters.
4. Keep closets free of old rags, paper or other combustible odds and ends.
5. Keep all walkways and stairwells free from obstruction at all times.

Fire Evacuation

1. Never use elevators to evacuate a burning building.
2. Note the Posted Evacuation Routes and follow to the nearest exit.
3. Go immediately to the designated assembly area and wait for further instructions.
4. Stay clear of emergency response personnel and equipment.
5. Do not re-enter the building until emergency response officials have declared that it is safe to do so.
6. Emergency fire drills shall be conducted for each building at least once per year.

Fire Containment

1. Fire doors shall remain closed unless they are equipped with automatic closing devices.
2. Ventilation system controls shall be tested for activation when exposed to smoke or extreme heat.


Office of Residential Life Fire Procedures

A. Fire Drill

1. General

a. Fire drills are required four times per year to acquaint/reacquaint students and staff with the proper procedure for safely vacating residential facilities in the event of an actual fire.

b. Floor sections should have a meeting place assigned outside of the building away from the parking lots. Residents of each floor are to be informed of the meeting area.

c. Staff is to develop and keep current floor rosters.

d. Staff is to identify students with disabilities and/or heavy sleepers in advance. Staff also should assist these individuals in making alternate arrangements with other residents in the event of emergencies.

2. Requirement

a. One announced fire drill is to be scheduled within the first 15 days of the first day of classes for each semester and within five days for each summer session.

b. Unannounced drills should take place in September, October, November, February, March and April.

3. Pre-Drill

a. Staff is to discuss the procedures for evaluating the fire drill practice.

b. Staff is to coordinate fire drill practices with the appropriate Coordinator.

4. Drill

a. Staff should exit building, banging on doors to alert students and assist in directing all students out the appropriate exit.

b. Go to the predetermined meeting spot for the building as listed below:


Staff is reminded to assist in keeping residents clear of the flow of emergency traffic.
c. Call roll and report missing persons to the hall director.
Once the alarm has been silenced by staff and before students are allowed back in the building, staff is to check all rooms to be sure they are empty. Anyone found in the room, should be written up immediately and referred to the Office of Residential Life for "failure to follow emergency procedures."

5. Post-Drill

a. Staff is to meet at designated area with supervisor to evaluate the drill/evacuation.
b. Be sure to check the fire extinguisher for recharge and, if applicable, call in work order to have extinguisher recharged.

B. Actual Fire/Unscheduled Sounding of Fire Alarm

1. General

a. Under no circumstances is staff to key into rooms.
b. Under no circumstances is staff to re-enter a building to search for students.
c. Using common sense, staff is to extinguish a fire if it is within their power to do so.
d. Under no circumstance is staff to re-set system.

2. Procedure

a. Contact Fire Department immediately.
b Contact Hall director immediately.
c. Immediately exit building, banging on doors to alert students and assist in directing all students out the appropriate exit.
d. Go to the predetermined meeting spot for the floor section.
e. Call role and report missing persons to the Hall director, University Police, and Fire Marshall.
f. Assist in maintaining a calm and orderly atmosphere.

C. Fire Alarm Panel Beeping

1. Check on status of alarm.
2. Contact HD immediately.
3. Refer to actual fire/unscheduled sounding of fire alarm procedures.
4. Immediately submit work order if there is a malfunction of alarm.


Fire Safety and Evacuation Procedures for Individuals with Disabilities

1. Plan ahead. Be prepared. Know what you are going to do before an emergency arises. Determine what you alternatives are.

2. When you enter an unfamiliar building, look it over and locate the most available telephones, note horizontal exits and ramps, note exit signs and enclosed stairwells ( determine if landings are large enough), note rooms that would make good areas or refuge, and note the location of fire alarm pull stations.

3. When an alarm sounds, it is important to determine the nature of the emergency and act accordingly.

4. Elevators are not to be considered as an exit option unless directed so by the Fire Department.

5. Individuals who walk with assisting devices (crutches, canes, etc.) should evacuate as expeditiously as possible. They may request assistance from a fellow student, faculty or staff member. Once outdoors, these individuals should meet in the designated area of assembly for the evacuated building.

6. Wheelchair users who are on the main level of a building, and can exit directly to the outdoors should do so as quickly as possible, and meet in the designated area of assembly. Those on floors other than the level of exit discharge should proceed to the nearest area of refuge. In most buildings, these are the stair landings. Areas of refuge are identified on emergency evacuation plans posted on each floor of each building.

The horizontal evacuation method should be utilized if possible. Horizontal evacuation is traveling on the same floor level and, where possible, passing from one building to another.