Fire Safety & Protocol

Because of the dangers to residents and fire fighters associated with equipment that has been tampered with, false fire alarms, and intentional fires, there are criminal and civil penalties for intentionally starting a fire (including burning a candle or having any other open flame), for intentionally causing any fire alarm, and for vandalizing or tampering with any fire alarm or fire protection equipment (including covering smoke detectors and/or heat detectors).

Probable outcomes for these violations are removal from campus housing and/or criminal prosecution. Causing a false fire alarm will result in removal from the residence halls and/or a $500 charge and/or six months in jail. Additionally, a $500 reward has been established for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals who tamper with the system or cause false fire alarms.

Assisting Residents with Special Needs

Students with a physical disability living in residence halls will be identified to emergency responders by Carolina Housing staff placing a document with their identifying information and room number at the fire panel in each residence hall. Emergency responders can then use this information to make decisions and take appropriate action. Students with special needs may wish to contact the UNC Accessibility Resources & Service Office at 919-962-8300; the office website is https://accessibility.unc.edu/ .

All students are required to exit a building during a fire alarm. The following guidelines are only for individuals with limited mobility. Failure to evacuate or failure to evacuate in a timely manner may result in a conduct hearing with the Community Director.

If you are a person with a physical disability or have a permanent or temporary condition impacting your mobility it is important that you learn about fire safety, plan for emergencies, and be aware of your own capabilities and limitations. Outlined below are suggestions that provide increased options for safety but are not a guarantee for absolute safety if an evacuation notice is given for your building.

Many locations on campus will allow direct access to the outside from your floor, or you can relocate horizontally to another building or wing. If you are unable to leave a building during an evacuation notice: REMAIN CALM. DO NOT USE THE STAIRS OR ELEVATORS.

Here are some precautions that can increase your level for safety:

  • Shelter in place in your assigned room with the door closed. Place rolled up towels at the foot of the door if you have them.
  • If your assigned room is not safe, shelter in place in or near a stairwell
  • If you are not able to get to a stairwell, look for a room with a window, door, and telephone to shelter.
  • Keep your cell phone with you so that you can call 911 to confirm your location.
  • If you are a student with a physical disability you can request a sign that you can voluntarily post in your assigned room the bottom right corner of an exterior facing window. This sign will indicate to fire rescuers that you have a physical disability and could expedite their ability to locate you and provide assistance. You can email Steven Wiley at steven_wiley@unc.edu or your Community Director. Your Community Director will reach out to schedule a time to bring the sign to you and post it.
  • If you have an animal with you (service, emotional support, etc.) please place them in a carry size crate or put them on a leash to make it easier for rescuers to get them to safety.
  • If you are unsure if the danger has concluded (i.e. the alarm has turned off), please call campus police at 911 to confirm the danger is over.

Fire Drills

Planned fire drills are held each academic year in cooperation with the Fire Safety & Emergency Response Section of the UNC Department of Environment, Health, & Safety. All persons are required to immediately evacuate the building during a fire drill. Failure to evacuate or failure to evacuate in a timely manner may result in a conduct hearing with the Community Director.

Fire Evacuation Procedures

When a fire alarm sounds, always take the fire alarm seriously and assume there is a fire. All persons are required to immediately evacuate the building. Each student room in residence halls has a fire evacuation plan posted; student residents should familiarize themselves with this evacuation plan when they move into their room.

After you have exited, move away from the building and wait for further instructions. If UNC Public Safety personnel are not already on site, call 919-962-8100 or 911 from a safe location. If a cell phone is unavailable, remember there are Emergency Blue Light Call Boxes throughout campus that connect directly to UNC Public Safety.

  • Speak slowly and clearly so you can be understood.
  • Give your name.
  • Give the exact location of the fire or emergency.
  • Give any other relevant information (if anyone is hurt, etc).
  • Keep out of the way of emergency personnel. If you believe that someone is trapped on your floor, report this immediately to fire fighters or UNC Public Safety.

Do not re-enter the building for any reason. If you have any information regarding a fire, you are encouraged to tell the nearest officer or Carolina Housing staff member.

Keeping Hallways Clear

To help ensure safe evacuation should it become necessary, storing of personal belongings in hallways is a safety hazard and will result in a minimum of $25 charge and removal of the item(s). The University is not responsible for such items that have been removed from common areas.

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