Fire Safety Awareness

Because fire is a risk in every building — whether you sleep, study, or work there — you should always have an escape plan. You may need to escape within a few minutes of a fire’s start, so your safe exit depends on immediate warning from smoke alarms and advance planning of escape routes.

Escape Plan Tips

  • Include two ways out of every room or space in all escape plans
  • Identify the pre-designated Evacuation Assembly Point (EAP) – information of your facilities EAP can be found here (link EAP map here)
  • Verify that doors located in your path of travel do not require a key to open from the inside
  • Take notes of weather any disables or elderly occupants will require evacuation assistance and report that to Building Emergency Coordinator(s) or first responders
  • Remain outside until given an “all-clear” from University officials or first responders
  • Practice your plan, then practice it some more
  • Do not blocked marked fire lanes 
  • Keep a distance of 7.5 feet around fire hydrants and fire department connection(s) (FDCs)
  • Do not cover or tamper with smoke detectors or fire alarm speaker/strobes
  • Do not inhibit access of fire department personnel
  • Do not impair any fire department equipment unless approved through the Office of Risk Management

Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and household fire injuries. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of these fires, most of which start with the ignition of common household items including grease, paper, cabinets and curtains.

Cooking Safety Tips

  • Never leave food unattended while it’s cooking, and closely monitor cooking in the oven
  • Maintain a clean and tidy cooking area that is free of items that catch on fire easily, such as cloth, paper, and plastics
  • Never plug microwaves or other heating appliances into extension cords
  • Never microwave metal containers or tinfoil

The University is dedicated to providing a healthy, safe, comfortable and productive work, study and social environment for faculty, staff and students. This goal can be achieved only through ongoing efforts to protect nonsmokers and help employees and students adjust to restrictions on smoking. All areas in University buildings, including residence halls and Greek houses, will be smoke and vapor free.

  • Never smoke inside a building
  • Never smoke in an area where oxygen tanks or fuel powered machinery or vehicles are located
  • Smoke only in designated smoking areas on-campus
  • Smoking must only take place 25’ away from a building
    *The following regulations also apply to the use of vaping and electronic cigarettes

Electrical distribution equipment poses serious fire safety threats that can even be fatal, especially when equipment is used incorrectly.

  • Never operate electrical appliances around bathtubs, showers, or puddles of standing water
  • Replace or repair frayed, loose, or otherwise damaged cords on all electronics
  • Shut off the circuit and have it checked by an electrician if any switches feel warm
  • Take note of any discolored switch plates, because discoloration could indicate that the electrical wiring behind the switch plate is overheating
  • Remember: symptoms of potential wiring problems include household lights that dim or flicker, a TV picture that shrinks in size, frequent blown fuses, or circuit breakers that trip frequently
  • Place lamps on level surfaces, away from flammable items, and use light bulbs that match the lamps’ recommended wattages

  • Never use an extension cord as a replacement for permanent wiring
  • Never run extension cords across doorways or under carpets
  • Never “daisy chain” extension cords (daisy chaining means plugging one extension cord into another)
  • Make sure power strips and surge suppressors are designed to handle the loads you will be using them for
  • Connect power strips and surge protectors directly into a wall outlet. Do not connect multiple power strips or surge protectors together
  • Avoid overloading circuits by plugging too many items into the same outlet
  • Avoid the use of "cube taps" and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle, and try to only plug one high-wattage item into each outlet

Halogen and incandescent bulbs should not be used on-campus and are prohibited in residential facilities.

Heating equipment is the leading cause of fires during the winter months, and the second leading cause of fires annually. Nearly half of all deaths attributed to heating equipment fires involve portable space heaters.

  • Only use University approved space heaters
  • Only plug space heaters directly into the wall
  • Never use space heaters with visible heating coils
  • Maintain a 36 inch clearance between space heaters and combustible items
  • Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep

Laundry Machine Basics

  • Keep area around laundry machines clear of boxes, clothing, and other combustibles
  • Never overfill laundry machines
  • Do not operate the dryer without a lint filter
  • Clean lint filter before or after each use, and remove any lint from around the dryer drum

Any work using an open-flame or spark-producing apparatus. Hot work includes, but is not limited to, welding, cutting, burning, grinding, and any related heat-producing job that could ignite combustible materials or flammable atmospheres.

Hot work at SMU requires training and a permit prior to the start of work. For more information regarding hot work, click here.