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 Fire Prevention Program 



I.                   PURPOSE AND SCOPE

The SRU Fire Prevention Program will emphasize fire prevention and safety and when possible superior design and construction of facilities in regards to fire safety.  This will be accomplished by maintaining compliance with applicable fire and life safety codes and standards and through the establishment of good fire safety work habits at the University. 

The Fire Prevention Program applies to all University groups and includes faculty, staff, vendors and contractors (while on university property).

 II.                DEFINITIONS

 Authority Having Jurisdiction – The “authority having jurisdiction” is the organization, office, or individual responsible for “approving” equipment, an installation, or a procedure.

Fire Codes – Local, state, or consensus regulations related to fire protection and prevention.

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) - Fire and Panic Act. 

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – An international voluntary organization to promote fire protection and prevention and establish safeguards against loss of life and property.


The Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Department, acts as the authority having jurisdiction in matters concerning fire and life safety.  The department is responsible for the implementation of all aspects of the Fire Prevention Program and for maintaining compliance with all codes and standards applicable to fire and life safety, and for establishing good fire safety work practices at the university


A.    Environmental Health & Safety Director Fire Safety Responsibilities

  1. To serve as University Fire Marshall and as chairperson of the Campus Safety Advisory Committee.  As such, the Director informs the committee in matters concerning fire and life safety and recommends appropriate action as required.  Additionally, the Director works with the committee to produce policies and procedures relevant to fire and life safety, and to ensure provision of a current University Fire Prevention Program.
  2. To provide fire safety training in the proper use of portable fire extinguishers, fire safety work practices, and response to suspected fire emergencies.   
  3. To provide expertise and assistance in the development of evacuation plans and to conduct evacuation drills as required.
  4. To review plans and specifications concerning renovation projects and new construction for fire and life safety concerns.
  5. To serve as the authority having jurisdiction in all fire and life safety issues.
  6. To inspect all University facilities for fires and life safety concerns and provide recommendations in those areas requiring attention.
  7. To inspect and maintain all portable fire extinguishers on campus.
  8. To inspect and maintain all fire hoses on campus.
  9. To advise departments, colleges, agencies, and other University entities as to the requirements relevant to fixed extinguishing systems, which are a part of their operations.
  10. To observe or assist Facilities and Planning (F&P) in the testing of fire pumps, sprinkler systems, smoke and heat detectors, fire alarm systems, and fire hydrants and to ensure documentation of this.
  11. To serve as the University liaison to the Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire Department (SRVFD).
  12. To provide general evacuation procedures and assist colleges and departments in the development of more specific procedures.
  13. To serve as the University liaison in working with the insurance carriers’ engineering representative in fire protection matters.
  14. To issue permits for welding and cutting operations on campus.
  15. To issue permits for the use of various temporary cooking devices on campus.
  16. To investigate the cause and origin of all fires which occur on University property. 

B.     Facilities and Planning (F&P) Responsibilities 

  1. Shall ensure that all new installations of fire alarm systems, fire suppression systems, extinguishers and fire alarm equipment to include standpipes, sprinklers, hydrants and fixed extinguishing systems meet all federal, state and local regulations.
  2. To provide the Director of EH&S copies of all documents related to maintenance of fire related equipment/systems.
  3. To ensure F&P staff are appropriately trained to assist the fire department in case of fire and to perform required preventive maintenance on fire equipment/systems.

C.    Unit Management

  1. Ensure employees are provided the necessary training and maintenance of documentation.
  2. Enforce all Slippery Rock University policies and procedures.
  3. Take appropriate action on all reported safety (including fire) and health complaints.  If the complaint cannot be resolved in the department, forward the complaint must be forwarded to EH&S.


D.    Individual Responsibilities          

  1. All employees will familiarize themselves with the policies and procedures related to fire protection and prevention.
  2. All students, faculty, staff, visitors, vendors, and contractors will abide by the Slippery Rock University Fire Prevention Program.
  3. Employees should report all violations to their immediate supervisor; if not possible, notify EH&S at ext. 2055.      


A.  General Fire Safety Requirements      


a.  All stairwells (in and under), exits, and passageways to and from exits shall be  

      kept free of all obstructions at all times. No furnishings, decorations, other

      combustible or flammable objects shall obstruct exits, access, egress

     from or visibility of.

b.  Fire doors must be kept closed at all times unless they are held open by an  

      approved device interconnected to the fire alarm system.

c.   Flammable and combustible materials should be present in work areas only in

      quantities required for the days job, and must be placed in an approved storage

       area at the end of each work day.

d.    Material must not obstruct sprinkler heads or be piled around fire      

      extinguishers, fire alarm pull station locations, or sprinkler and standpipe   

      control valves. To obtain proper distribution of water, a minimum of 18 inches   

      of clear space is required below sprinkler deflectors.

e.   Dispose of all trash as soon as possible in trash cans or dumpsters. Waste   

      materials must never be piled in corridors or stairwells while awaiting


Electrical Appliances

a.   Space heaters, coffee makers, and all other appliances with exposed heating

      elements should never be left unattended while in operation. They should be 

      unplugged after each use and stored only after they are cool enough to touch.

      Ensure that such appliances are operated away from combustible materials

      such as files, curtains, trash containers, etc.

b.  Only portable electric space heaters complying with the design requirements

     of the EH&S office and approved by F&P may be used at Slippery Rock University.

     Space heaters shall not be placed under desks or in other enclosed areas.

c.   Appliances shall bear the label of Underwriters Laboratory, Factory Mutual or

     other recognized national testing agency, indicating they are approved for safe

     operation. These shall not be run on extension cords.

B.      Fire Identification, Notification and Emergency Evacuation


a.   In the event that anyone smells smoke or sees fire or smoke and there is a

      building fire alarm system, they should immediately activate the alarm to 

      evacuate the building by using the nearest pull station . Even if the fire is

      known to be small, the alarm should be activated immediately. The fire could

      grow quickly, endangering building occupants. All building occupants should

      be familiar with fire alarm pull station locations in their area..

b.   After activating the fire alarm, the person discovering the fire should

      immediately call University Police at 3333, from a safe location, and provide the

      emergency dispatcher with the name and location of the building and information

      about the fire. The University Police will notify the SRVFD.

 c.   After the alarm has been sounded and the fire has been reported, an attempt

      should be made to extinguish the fire if it is small and if it can be

      extinguished without exposing oneself to injury. Portable fire extinguishers    

      are available for use for those trained. Otherwise, evacuate along with others

      and stand by to tell officials the exact location of the fire and other pertinent



 a.  The primary concern in the event of a fire is to evacuate everyone from the

      building as quickly as possible. In order to accomplish this, occupants must

      be prepared in advance for quick and orderly evacuation. Periodic meetings

      should be held with all personnel to explain, in detail, evacuation procedures. 

      When the fire alarm sounds, immediate evacuation is required.

b.   If time and conditions permit, close all doors and windows (do not lock

      doors, unless for security purposes).

c.   When on floors above ground level, always use stairways to exit the building 


d.   Once outside, stay clear of doors, sidewalks and roadways.

e.   Return to the building only after being directed to do so by members of the

      University Police/EH&S offices and/or Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire

      Department (SRVFD).

f.    Instructors are responsible for ensuring safe evacuation of all students, including

       those with disabilities.  Should you have a mobility-impaired student and need

      further direction or have any questions/concerns regarding student evacuation,

      please contact the EH&S office (2055).

Evacuation of Individuals with Disabilities.

a.   When the alarm sounds and you are unable to make your way down stairs,

      obtain assistance from other individuals who are familiar with your disability.

b.   If no one is able to assist you down the stairs, proceed to the stairwell and

     inform other evacuees that you need immediate rescue. Stairwells are designed

     to provide protection from smoke and fire; however, doors to these areas must

     be kept closed in order to afford you this protection.

c.   If you are unable to make your way to the stairwell ask several individuals to

     activate the fire alarm on your floor. This will alert the fire rescue team by

     illuminating the light on the annunciator panel zoned for your floor and will

     initiate a direct response to your floor. Also, ask individuals to inform rescuers of

     your whereabouts.

d.  While you are waiting, position yourself so that your face is as close to the floor

     as possible. Smoke rises first and most of the available oxygen is near the floor.

    If smoke becomes too dense to breathe, place clothing or some other heavy cloth

    over your nose and mouth to filter as much smoke as possible until help arrives.


C.   Fire Safety Drills

Fire Drill Procedure


1.  Frequency of Drills - drills shall be conducted in accordance with the following frequencies:

 *  Residence Halls - a minimum of two (2) drills per semester.

*  Administrative/Educational Buildings - a minimum of one (1) drill per 


A fire alarm that is activated due either to a planned event, an accident, malfunction, malicious act or actual fire or smoke and results in the building being evacuated may not be classified as a fire drill for the purpose of meeting this requirement.

2.   Procedure for Planned Drills

a.  All planned drills must be approved, in advance, by the EH&S office.

b.  In every case where a planned drill is to be held, the SRU Police must be

     notified, in advance, of the time and location of the drill. Following each

     planned drill, the person in charge of administering the drill must complete a

     fire drill report form and forward it to the EH&S office.


D.   Portable Fire Extinguishers - Type, Placement and Inspection

 1.  Location - Portable fire extinguishers are installed on the basis of the hazard

     classification, occupancy and the nature of the materials subject to fire.

2.  Type - Fires are classified into groups according to the nature of the material

     subject to fire. Fire extinguisher classification corresponds to these groups:

 Class A:

     Fires consisting of ordinary combustibles, such as wood, paper, some plastics,

      and textiles, where a quenching and cooling action of the extinguishing agent

      is required

Class B:

       Fires consisting of flammable liquid and gas, such as oil, gasoline, paint, 

       acetone, and grease, where oxygen exclusion or a flame-interrupting effect of

        the extinguishing agent is required.

Class C:

         Fire involving electrical wiring and electrical equipment where dielectric

         nonconductivity of the extinguishing agent is required.

Class D:

          Fires consisting of combustible metals, such as magnesium, potassium,

          powdered aluminum, zinc, sodium, titanium, zirconium, and lithium, where a

           material specific extinguishing agent is required.

3.  Education - Be informed regarding the locations and classifications of portable

      fire extinguishers in your area.  If you observe portable fire extinguishers that

       have been tampered with, rendered nonfunctional, or are missing, a report

       should be made to EH&S office (2055).

4.  Inspections are as follows:

 a.  Monthly  - all Residence Hall fire extinguishers are inspected on a monthly


b.  Quarterly - all Administrative, Educational and Other Buildings  fire

                     extinguishers are inspected on quarterly basis.

c.  Annual - all University fire extinguishers have a set inspection date which

                      requires that they are hydrostatically inspected by a certified service 

                      provider. These inspections range from 1 - 15 years.


Fire extinguisher use – if you use a fire extinguisher for any reason, it must be

                                 reported to University Police and to the EH&S office.


E.   Halogen Lamps, Open Flames and Fireworks            

 1.  Halogen (torchiere) lamps, due to fire safety concerns, are not permitted to be

                  used in university buildings.

2.  Unapproved units which have/contain exposed elements or open flames such as

     coleman stoves, fondue pots, candles, gas lanterns, hibachi grills, torches, oil

      lamps and fire works are not allowed on campus unless approved for use by the

       EH&S office.

3.  No open fire, cooking fire, campfire or bonfire will be allowed on University

     property unless the individuals responsible have obtained written consent of the

     EH&S office.

 4.  Open Fire Permits will be issued on a case by case basis only depending on

      weather conditions, acceptable location and general compliance as outlined in

      this policy and local ordinances.

5.  The use or possession of fireworks, explosives, or any other substance which may

       injure, discomfort, or disturb other individuals is strictly prohibited.

6.  Any public fireworks displays must be conducted by licensed pyrotechnic

     operators who have obtained written consent from the EH&S office.

F.   Portable Space Heaters

The following guidelines must be followed when using portable space heaters:

 1.  The heater must have an automatic safety switch that turns off the unit if it is

      tipped over.

 2.   Units must be grounded and UL approved.

3.   Before using the heater, inspect the electrical cord.  Look for frayed wire or

      cracked insulation.  If there are any defects in the cord or unit, DO NOT USE.  Do

      not connect an extension cord to the heater.

 4.   Never leave the unit on while you are out of your office.  Always check the unit

      before leaving your office for lunch or a the end of the day and make sure it is

      shut off.

 5.  Do not place the heater near combustible materials such as papers, magazines

      or office furniture.  Allow at least three feet between the heater and combustible


 6.  Do not place the heater in or near wet areas or in high traffic areas, such as exit


 7.  Before operating the heater, always read and follow the manufacturers operating



 G.   Holiday Fire Safety Guidelines

 The following fire safety guidelines must be use when decorating for holidays or  special occasions:

1.   All decorations, such as garland, artificial trees, wreaths, tinsel, and streamers

      must be labeled as “fire-proof,” “fire-resistant” or “flame-proof.”

 2.   All holiday lighting should bear a testing lab seal of approval.

 3.   Never use lights on metallic trees.

4.   Natural trees, wreaths and greens are prohibited in public buildings.

5.   The use of candles is prohibited in in all buildings.

6.   Holiday lights should not be left unattended.

7.   Decorations must be arranged in a manner not to obstruct exits, emergency

      lighting, exit signs, or corridors.

8.   Straw, hay corn stalks/fodder, dried flowers, bamboo and other similar

      combustibles are prohibited as decorations inside facilities without

      written authorization from the EH&S office.

Paul M. Novak, M.P.H.

Director of Environmental Health and Safety

Stores I Building – 145 Kiester Road

Slippery Rock, PA 16057

Phone: 724-738-2465

FAX: 724-738-4282


Joel T. Brown

Fire and Safety Manager

Stores I Building – 145 Kiester Road

Slippery Rock, PA 16057

Phone: 724-738-2466

FAX: 724-738-4282




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