Fire Safety Efforts and Annual Fire Safety Report

It is the mission of the Kutztown University (KU) Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to provide an environment conducive to a healthy and safe learning experience, to protect the university’s human resources, real property and preserve the environment. Our Fire Safety Section ensures the continuation of a fire-safe environment through inspection, education, and equipment resources for all Kutztown University students, faculty, staff, and guests.

Information related to KU’s fire safety efforts has been prepared to increase your awareness of the programs and features that exist to assist you in ensuring your safety and well-being. Kutztown University’s Annual Fire Safety Report contains information with respect to statistics concerning the number fires in campus residence facilities. The report includes the cause of each fire, the number of injuries and deaths related to a fire, and the value of property damaged by a fire, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008.

In order for our fire safety efforts to be effective, EHS maintains a close working relationship with the following units: Public Safety & Police Services; Housing and Residential Services (HARS); Facilities Maintenance and Construction; and, the Kutztown Fire Department. These organizations and agencies provide the resources and expertise to support the mission of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

Actions in case of a Fire

Should a fire occur in a Kutztown University building, the occupant should alert others to the fire by immediately activating the fire alarm system by pulling the nearest fire alarm pull station and notify the KU Department of Public Safety & Police Services (KUPD) at (610) 683-4001. The university police will initiate a response and, if warranted, notify the fire department immediately. If a member of the KU community believes the fire has been extinguished, and the person is not sure if a KUPD response has been initiated, the community member should immediately notify the police in order to investigate/verify the fire is out and document the incident.

Fire alarm systems are designed to alert building occupants of a fire or other emergency within the building. All occupants shall respond to a fire alarm signal by evacuating the building immediately, utilizing the closest-safest exit and/or stairwell that leads outside. Occupants should make it a habit to familiarize themselves with primary and alternate exit pathways in each building; emergency evacuation route maps are posted in all campus buildings. Only through immediate-decisive action can the occupant aid their own survival.

Use of elevators during a fire alarm condition should be avoided; occupants should use the stairs to evacuate the building. If you are caught in an elevator that stops during a fire alarm condition, remain calm and push the emergency button or access the emergency phone in the elevator cab to alert responders that you need help. The emergency phones in campus elevators automatically call the university police.

Unwanted alarms in campus buildings and residence facilities occasionally occur from a variety of causes; never dismiss the importance of responding immediately to a fire alarm sounding in the building. The university police and/or fire department will investigate and clear the alarm as soon as practical and permit occupants to return to the building when it is deemed safe to do so.

Fire Protection Systems

A majority of Kutztown University’s buildings are protected by automatic fire alarm systems; that is, should a fire occur in the building, smoke or heat sensors will detect the fire, automatically sound the alarm and transmit it to Public Safety & Police Services. All university residence facilities are protected by automatic fire alarm systems. All automatic fire alarm systems are constantly monitored by Public Safety & Police Services staff.

All residence halls and numerous education/general purpose buildings at Kutztown University are equipped with automatic fire sprinkler systems. These sprinkler systems may include dry-pipe systems in spaces prone to sub-freezing temperatures, fire hose connections in stairways of taller buildings, fire pumps to increase pressure and flow, and multiple hose connection points for the fire department, to meet applicable code requirements.All sprinkler systems are monitored through the building fire alarm system and will trigger the fire alarm if sprinkler activation occurs. For more information about the fire safety systems in Kutztown University’s residence facilities, click here.

Safety Inspections

The Office of Environmental, Health and Safety, in conjunction with Housing and Residential Services staff, performs periodic safety inspections in all on-campus residence halls. EHS performs inspections of all common spaces in each building, which include lobbies, corridors, restrooms, stairwells, recreation or special use areas as well as mechanical rooms. The inspections include, but are not limited to, a visual inspection of fire extinguishers, fire sprinkler components and valves, life safety devices such as exit signs and panic hardware on doors and fire alarm devices.

In addition to inspections performed by campus personnel, the university contracts with qualified vendors to perform inspection and testing of building fire alarm and suppression systems. Residence Hall systems are inspected and tested biannually.

Fire/Evacuation Drills

One method to train occupants and observe student and staff behavior when the fire alarm sounds, is to conduct evacuation drills. Fire evacuation drills are conducted in the resident halls four times each year. The day and time of the drills is varied, as is the order of the drills. These drills are unannounced, and occasionally include “blocked” exits, or “smoked” hallways to alter the egress paths and challenge the occupants. These drills are evaluated and scored based on number of evacuees, time to evacuate and several other safety factors. The resident hall with the best score after each round of drills gets to hold the coveted traveling plaque, which signifies their superiority in fire safety evacuation.

The Office of Environmental, Health & Safety schedules these drills in conjunction with the Office of Housing & Residential Services (for residence halls) and the Department of Public Safety & Police Services who assist us to help ensure the proper response by occupants and to address questions/concerns during and after the drill. Student behavioral issues are reported to Housing staff. For their behavior during these drills, students are held accountable and may be asked to attend informational sessions.

Evacuation drills also serve as a test of the fire alarm systems and permit brief safety inspections of the facilities; if deficiencies are noted, they are acted on immediately.

The following links take you to the Kutztown University guidelines and policies related to emergency evacuation from campus buildings.

Training / Educational Opportunities

Professional and student Residence Life staff receives the majority of their fire safety training from EHS at the start of each academic year. This training is provided during the Residence Life student staff development that occurs in the two weeks preceding the start of fall semester.

Student staff is provided with information regarding their building fire safety features as well as University policies and procedures. Additionally, the staff obtains first-hand knowledge on how the fire alarm and sprinkler systems function, an introduction on the use of fire extinguishers, proper procedures for building evacuation, as well as fire prevention tips and hazards to watch for in the Resident Halls.

Updates to this training may occur prior to the start of spring semester, if requested by Housing & Residential Services. Additionally, video training programs are made available for building staff meetings and EHS staff is available for presentations in the halls during every semester. Requests for Fire Safety Programs can be made by sending them to firesafety@kutztown.edu.

Other Educational Materials

Programs and Policies

In addition to the services provided by the Office of Environmental, Health and Safety, the Kutztown University Office of Housing and Residential Services has posted polices and rules on their web page under: Services and Policies.

To ensure a fire safe environment, the following are prohibited in Residence Halls according to policy established by Housing and Residential Services

All open flame, including candles and incense, hot coil electrical devices and decorative string lights of any kind are PROHIBITED in residence halls and apartments.

Smoking is not permitted in any residence hall, apartment, or suite, including student rooms and courtyards.

Cooking devices, other than a micro-fridge unit, are prohibited in traditional and suite-style residence hall rooms;   however, cooking appliances with sealed or enclosed heating elements are permitted in the apartments; examples are: crock-pots, electric fondue pots, airstream ovens, hot dog cookers, toasters, fry pans, auto shut-off coffee makers, popcorn poppers, and microwave ovens.

Additionally, The Key - Student Handbook, published by the Division of Student Services and Campus Life, addresses fire safety as well as evacuation procedures for students living in on-campus housing facilities. Information specific to Residence Hall Fire Safety Policies can be found in Chapter Five (5).

Other policies and procedures in effect, relating to fire safety at Kutztown University, include the following:

Notifications

In the event of a fire in a residence hall, these individuals should be notified that a fire has occurred:

University Police Department – Department of Public Safety & Police Services – Phone 34001
Residence Hall Director or Residence Coordinator – Housing & Residential Services – Phone 34027
Director, Housing & Residential Services – Housing & Residential Services – Phone 34027
Director, Environmental, Health & Safety –Office of Environmental, Health & Safety – Phone 34050
Fire Safety Technician – Office of Environmental, Health & Safety – Phone 34050

Emergency Contact Numbers

Police, Medical or Fire – dial 34001 (Emergency)
Public Safety and Police Services – dial 610-683-4002 or Ext 34002 (non-emergency)
Health & Wellness Services – dial Ext 34082 or 610-683-4082
Environmental, Health & Safety – dial Ext 34050 or 610-683-4050

Links to more information on Campus Fire Safety

Annual Safety, Security and Crime Statistics Report

In accordance with applicable State and Federal Regulations, the University publishes and distributes crime statistics to all current students, faculty and staff on an annual basis. The crime statistics are also available upon request to all applicants for enrollment or employment. The report is available on the KU website at http://clery.kutztown.edu   To request a copy of the report, contact the Department of Public Safety & Police Services main office, in Old Main room 13 or by calling (610) 683-4002


Campus Fire Safety
Observed in September each Year
   


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