Fire Safety

Policy number: 11.7

Policy section: Risk Management

Revised Date: June 4, 2019

1.  Definitions

Definitions of capitalized terms are set forth in Appendix A.

2.  Policy Statement

The University recognizes the importance of having a comprehensive fire safety program that represents a proactive effort directed at identifying and evaluating fire safety risks and the initiation of appropriate steps to eliminate or reduce risks.

The Office of Risk Management is responsible for ensuring compliance with the local Fire Code and national fire safety standards as they relate to building inspections, fire safety education, fire prevention, and evacuation procedures.

3.  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to regulate and govern the safeguarding of life and property from fire hazards arising from the storage, handling and use of hazardous substances, materials and devices, and from conditions hazardous to life or property at SMU.

4.  Applicability

All faculty, staff, students, volunteers, contractors, and visitors are expected to comply with this policy. This policy applies to all University owned or leased buildings and to those who occupy those facilities.

5.  Questions

Please contact the Office of Risk Management, Emergency Management Department, with any questions.

6.  Authorities and Responsibilities

The University must comply with the requirements set forth in the Authority Having Jurisdictions (AHJ) in which the University owns or leases facilities. Additionally, each city has Ordinances the University must comply with.

7.  Fire Safety Management

This policy and relevant guidance provides fire safety program framework, which will be implemented to protect lives and University assets. The Office of Risk Management is responsible for providing the overall guidance and direction in the area of fire safety and shall abide by the following commitments:

  1. Create and maintain suitable and sufficient fire safety reviews of all University owned buildings and activities within each building;
  2. Identify and implement reasonably practicable control measures to control fire risks;
  3. Provide suitable and sufficient information, education, and training on fire safety to all students, faculty, staff, contractors, etc.;
  4. Establish protocols for Building Emergency Action Plans for all University Owned buildings;
  5. Implement and maintain a Building Emergency Coordinator program to assist with fire safety within University buildings;
  6. Regularly evaluate evacuation and emergency procedures, as well as implement and maintain managed evacuation procedures;
  7. Conduct regular fire safety inspections with local AHJ; and
  8. Ensure effective liaison with local AHJ.

8.  Non-Compliance

Tampering with, damaging, or misusing fire safety equipment including, but not limited to, pull stations, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, or exit signs; unauthorized burning of any material in any University building on or near University property; disregarding a fire alarm or failure to evacuate a building when a fire alarm is sounding; falsely initiating any report, alarm, warning, or threat of fire, explosion, or other emergency; obstruction of fire escapes, corridors, or stairways is a violation of this policy.

Students in violation of this policy may face student conduct sanctions, including, but not limited to, Educational Sanctions, fines, or removal from Residence Halls (if applicable); employees in violation of this policy will be reported to the Vice President for Business & Finance and subsequently managed through the Provost or the appropriate Vice President; departments in violation of this policy will be reported to the Vice President for Business & Finance and subsequently managed through the Provost or appropriate Vice President.

Any of these violations could also be investigated and sanctioned by the Authority Having Jurisdiction. Sanctions referred to a municipal judge may include a fine up to a $2,000.

Appendix A: Definitions

“Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)” is the organization, office, or individual responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard, or for approving equipment, materials, an installation, or fire safety procedures in accordance with city adopted rules and regulations.

“Building Emergency Action Plan” is a document designed to assist building occupants with their emergency planning and response efforts for a specific facility.  This plan serves as a life safety and emergency response plan. 

“Building Emergency Coordinator” serves as an extension of Emergency Management in the preparedness, response, and recovery phases of an emergency.

“Educational Sanctions” provides opportunities for education, reflection, and rehabilitation; and is selected to be commensurate with the offense as defined in the Student Code of Conduct and Conduct Review Process.

“Fire Code” is the code addressing conditions hazardous to life and property from fire, explosion, handling or use of hazardous materials, and the use and occupancy of buildings and premises. This comprehensive fire code establishes minimum regulations for fire prevention and fire protection systems using prescriptive and performance-related provisions.

“Ordinance” is a piece of legislation enacted by a municipal authority.

Revised: June 4, 2019

Adopted: June 4, 2019