Ignoring evacuation procedures, placing false alarms, interfering with fire alarm or other alarm systems, tampering with or removing bells, horns, strobes, fire hoses, extinguishers, and fire-fighting equipment are prohibited and a violation of the fire code. Violators may bear the cost of inspecting, recharging, repairing, and replacing the equipment. Tampering with life-safety systems poses a direct threat to each resident and is thus subject to disciplinary action, including the possibility of eviction and criminal prosecution.
Residents should not leave personal belongings in the hallways as it may obstruct exit routes in the event of an emergency. All belongings left in hallways will be considered trash and discarded. Students are responsible for their guests’/visitors’ safety and behavior.
Students should prepare themselves for any emergency by familiarizing themselves with evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures, routes, and locations ahead of time.
Fire Safety Notice
Creating a safe campus environment for all students, faculty, and staff is of paramount importance. To that end, all members of the College community are encouraged to review campus fire safety protocols, especially those pertaining to residence houses. Section 6438 of the New York Education Law requires private colleges to provide a written fire safety notification to each student living in a college-owned housing facility, both on and off-campus. All Vassar College Residence Houses and Apartments (TA’s, TH’s, and SC) are equipped with fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems that are regularly inspected, as required by NYS Fire Code, by a certified fire alarm and sprinkler contractors. All members of the College community can access the college’s federal Higher Education Opportunity Act fire safety report, Fire Emergency Guide and Fire Safety Guide Satisfying IFC 403.10.2.2, and NY Educational Law Section 6438. This guide meets the requirements of the 2015 International Fire Code (IFC) 403.10.2.2 which requires Fire Emergency Guides to be reviewed and approved by the fire code official and distributed to each tenant prior to initial occupancy.
Each residential building is equipped with a fire alarm system. Each fire alarm system has pull stations, smoke and heat detectors distributed throughout the building.
Pull Stations—These devices allow occupants to trigger a building-wide alarm activation which will sound horns and strobes to alert occupants and initiate a complete evacuation of the building. Simultaneously, the fire department will respond and determine the nature of the alarm and respond accordingly.
Smoke and Heat Detectors and Alarms—These devices sense the products of combustion and if detected, will trigger a building-wide alarm activation which will sound horns and strobes to alert occupants and initiate a complete evacuation of the building. Simultaneously, the fire department will respond and determine the nature of the alarm and respond accordingly. Some buildings, specifically: Raymond, Strong, Lathrop, Josselyn, Cushing have two types of smoke detectors. There are system detectors that are connected to the fire alarm panel and single station stand-alone smoke detectors in some student rooms. These single station stand-alone devices are not connected to the fire alarm panel. If the smoke alarm in your room activates, you should immediately evacuate and pull the pull station on your way out of the building. This will activate the entire buildings’ fire alarm system.
Portable Fire Extinguishers—Each building is equipped with ABC-type portable fire extinguishers. The extinguishers can be used by students, however, the most important requirement, is for students to safely evacuate.
If students choose to use the portable fire extinguishers, they should remember the PASS analogy:
P=Pull the pin
A=Aim the hose at the base of the fire
S=Squeeze the handle
S=Sweep at the base of the fire from side to side
Emergency Evacuation diagrams are posted on the back of each room. Please familiarize yourself with the locations of exits and the number of doors between you and each exit. In addition, to satisfy NY Educational Law, Section 6438, which requires a written fire safety notification to each student living in a college-owned housing facility, both on and off-campus. Each Vassar College residential house and apartment building is equipped with fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems that are regularly inspected by a certified fire alarm and sprinkler contractors as required by the International Fire Code.
In case of fire, follow procedures below:
- Know the location of alternate means of exit.
- Know those procedures posted throughout the building.
- Know the location of alarm pull stations, usually near an exit. Fire extinguishers are strategically placed throughout the building.
- Always keep fire doors closed. Keeping them propped open will permit passage of toxic gasses, fumes, and smoke.
- Do not obscure vision through fire doors by hanging signs, posters, or notices on fire door windows.
- Report vandalism of all fire equipment to Campus Security or the ROC.
On Discovering a Fire:
- Notify persons in the immediate vicinity.
- Leave immediately.
- Pull the fire alarm, then call (845) 437-7333 on a campus phone located in a safe area.
- Close all doors as you leave.
- Do not use elevators.
- Vacate the building. Evacuate through fire exit stairways and wait for instructions.
When the Alarm Sounds:
- Awaken roommates, inform them of the alarm and leave immediately.
- Be prepared to take directions from your building staff, fire and police personnel.
- Dress appropriately for the outside weather, as you will need to leave the building and wait in a remote location before being admitted back inside. Shoes and coat are essential. Take your keys and Vassar ID card.
- Vacate the building and stand 25 feet away.
- Do not use elevators.
After a Fire:
- All fires, no matter how small, should be reported to Campus Security.
- Evacuation drills are held to educate and prepare residents to follow safety procedures. Drills are required by the fire code and are scheduled to comply with this code.
- Fire code requires that residents leave their rooms during emergency drills.
- Failure to evacuate when requested, or to follow other instructions by emergency personnel may result in disciplinary action and criminal prosecution.
Emergency “Shelter in Place” Procedures:
- Shelter procedures are initiated by the Campus Emergency Alarm.
- Instructions will be communicated by cell phone and by appropriate administrators of the college.
- In a shelter procedure, you will remain in the building shelter location.
- Remain in the building. The entrance to the building will be closed and no one will be allowed to enter or exit.
- You will be allowed to exit the shelter only when an announcement has been made that the emergency is over.