HEOA Compliance

I. Campus Fire Safety

Overview
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) was signed into law in August 2008 and contains several crucial campus safety components. One of the main provisions of the HEOA is the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Act. This provision calls for all Title IV eligible institutions that participate in Title IV programs and maintain on-campus student housing facilities to publish an annual fire safety report that outlines fires safety systems, policies, practices, and statistics. The following report discloses all information required by HEOA as it relates to Southwest Minnesota State University.
Fire Log
Institutions must maintain a fire log that reflects the nature of the fire, date, time and general location of each fire in on-campus student housing facilities. Southwest Minnesota State University complies with this rule by including all fire-related incidents in the Daily Fire Log. The University Public Safety office maintains a Fire Log of all incidents reported. This log includes the incident type, date incident is reported, date and time of occurrence, general location of each reported incident type and the disposition of the incident if that information is known. University Public safety posts specific incidents in the Fire Log within two (2) business days of receiving a report of an incident and reserves the right to exclude reports from a log in certain circumstances as permitted by law. The most current (up to 60 days) of information is available in the Office of Public Safety in the basement of Founders Hall.

Fire log

 

Incident # Date Location Estimated Cost of Damage/Fire Drill
 0  0  0  0

 

 II. Specifications for On-Campus Housing Facility Fire Systems

A. HA Complex (Buckingham, Selene, Camaraderie, Clapper): Room smoke detectors, hallway smoke detectors, fire alarm pull stations, integrated alarm system.
B. G Complex (Manchester, Lincoln Center, Charisma, Aquarius): Room smoke detectors, hallway smoke detectors, fire alarm pull stations, integrated alarm system.
C. GW Complex (Titan, Kamasutra, Sirius, El Dorado): Room smoke detectors, smoke detectors, fire alarm pull stations, integrated alarm system.
D. GM Complex: (Ocean Boulevard, Shenandoah, Armstrong, Homestead): Room smoke detectors, hallway smoke detectors, fire alarm pull stations, integrated alarm system.
E. HB Complex (Sybaris, Porter, Chez Nous, Lakota): Room smoke detectors, hallway smoke detectors, fire alarm pull stations, integrated alarm system.
F. HC Complex (Methedras, Lhasa, Naoutha, Antipodes): Room smoke detectors, hallway smoke detectors, fire alarm pull stations, integrated alarm system.
G. Sweetland Hall: Room smoke detectors, hallway smoke detectors, integrated alarm system, sprinkler system.
H. Foundation Residence Apartments: Room smoke detectors, hallway smoke detectors, integrated alarm system, sprinkler system.

III. Fire Safety Procedures and Policies

Activation of a fire alarm:

*Call SMSU Public Safety (537-7252) to report the activation of the alarm
*Secure your personal valuables, and close all doors and windows in your work area
*Proceed to the nearest exit and leave the building—keeping at least 500ft away
*Report to the department’s designated area
*Take a head count to ensure that all students, staff, and faculty are accounted for
*Report any missing person(s) to security or administrator
*DO NOT return until directed to do so by appropriate personnel; i.e. the fire department, SMSU Public Safety, or key administrators

If you notice smoke or fire:

*Shout a warning to other occupants and activate the building fire alarm
*Call 911 and SMSU Public Safety (537-7252) to give the location of the fire/smoke
*Secure your personal valuables, and close all doors and windows in your work area
*Proceed to the nearest exit and leave the building—keeping at least 500ft away
*Report to the department’s designated area
*Take a head count to ensure that all students, staff, and faculty are accounted for
*Report any missing person(s) to security or administrator
*DO NOT return until directed to do so by appropriate personnel; i.e. the fire department, SMSU Public Safety, or key administrators

Fireworks:
Fireworks, while now legal to possess in the state of Minnesota, are not permitted on the campus or in the residence halls, including parking lots. Possession and/or use of fireworks also pose a direct threat to persons and the quality of the campus environment. Appropriate action will be taken against those persons who choose to violate this law.

Decorations:
Any lights used must be UL approved and checked for safety. Do not use light strings with cracked sockets, loose connections or frayed cords. If you use lights outside, make sure you use outdoor lights only and have permission from the Building Services Foreman. Use no more than 3 sets of lights per extension and follow manufacture’s recommendation on the number used per circuit. Never put lights in metallic objects – a short circuit can electrify them.

Never use candles. Do not smoke near trees or flammable decorations.

Please never set trees or other decorations against heating units. Doors and hallways may be decorated but materials must be non-flammable, and should not touch light fixtures (they must be kept at least 12 inches away). No more than 50% of your door surface may be covered at ANY time. This is state fire code.

If painting windows, either in your lounge or room:
* Any decorations/advertisements throughout the year – if you are planning on
painting windows you will need to get your GMW’s and RA/CA
permission.
*Avoid using dark colors (like red or black). When applied to windows, they
absorb more heat than the parts not painted or covered with
decorations. This causes the windowpane itself to crack and it is an
expensive repair, especially on thermopane windows.
* Decorations intended for display in large window areas should be constructed
away from the window itself.
* “White snow” decorations on windows have not caused problems as long as it
is cleaned thoroughly.
*No paint or chalk of any kind should ever be applied to brick or walls.

Natural trees, for use as Christmas trees, are not allowed in student rooms or house
lounges because of the fire hazard posed.

Artificial, fireproofed trees with lights are acceptable.

All holiday decorations must be removed and windows and other areas cleaned before
any vacation occurs. Some decorations within the room may be taken down
immediately following the holiday.

Your room door can only be 50% covered of either side of the door. Space needs to be
left at the top and bottom of the door without any decorations. This is to assist in
eliminating a fire hazard and is state fire code.

Paper napkins, facial tissue, waxed paper, dried vegetation, wrapping paper, corrugated
cardboard, asphalt, tar impregnated paper and light plastics shall not be used inside the
residence halls for fire safety reasons.


IV. Evacuations procedures for fire emergencies

Fire:
If you see severe smoke or fire, pull the nearest fire alarm to alert other residents, evacuate the hall, dial 9-911 and exit. (If you can, tell an RA/CA or other University Official immediately that you have seen smoke or fire and its location.)

Fire Alarms and Possible Fires:
Fire drills, as mandated by MnSCU and State law, will be conducted each semester to insure your familiarity with the sound of the alarms and your evacuation options. Whenever the fire alarm sounds, residence hall staff will insure that the affected building(s) are evacuated in every instance. To insure your safety you should do the following IMMEDIATELY upon hearing an alarm signal.

1. Secure the windows and turn out the lights in the room. It is important that you close but do not lock your room door. Leaving your room unlocked allows you to enter your room quickly again in case you encounter a fire down the hall, etc.
2. Evacuate IMMEDIATELY through the nearest exit door and stand at least 50 feet away from the building. You may be required to move to the official campus evacuations points, which are usually the nearest parking lot.
3. Provide assistance to people on your floor who may need help leaving the hall and bang on doors as you pass them (do not put yourself into danger, though).
4. Assume that any evacuation is a fire situation. Make sure you wear hard-soled shoes and carry a towel to protect your hair and to provide some form of filter for your breathing.
5. Once you exit you must remain outside the building until you are told to re-enter by a Residence Life staff member or city fire official.
6. Clearance to return into the building will not be given until the building has been completely evacuated. Silencing of the alarm is NOT an all-clear sign.

Important Note: It is a violation of school policy to fail to evacuate during a fire alarm. Any such refusal or failure to evacuate will result in some disciplinary action. For everyone’s safety, you must evacuate every time you hear an alarm as quickly as possible.
Additional Tips When Encountering a Fire:
. Feel your room door with the palm of your hand. If the door or knob is hot do not open it. If the door is not hot, open slowly and be ready to slam it shut if necessary.
. Check the hallway. If everything is clear, walk to the nearest exist. If there is any smoke in the corridor, crawl into the hallway. Go to the nearest exits. If it is blocked, then use the alternative one. Remember, do not use an elevator.
. Walk down to the ground level. Do not panic.

What to Do If Your Room Door is Hot or Smoke is Dense in the Hall:
. Open the window to vent room if there is any smoke. If you are on the first or second floor you may be able to drop to ground safely. If you are on a higher level, you are usually better off staying put.
. Let someone know you are in your room. If the phone works, call for help. Dial 9-911. Hang a bed sheet out the window to signal firefighters.
. If you are able to place wet towels and sheets around your door, do so immediately.
. Get fresh air by making a tent over your head with a blanket at a slightly opened window to get fresh air. If the windows do not open, you may have to break one out with a chair or drawer.
. Finally, as a last resort, if your room becomes untenable, you may be forced to make for the best exit. Remember to keep low.

 V. Mandatory Fire drills
Mandatory drills are conducted in the Residence Halls once per semester.Drills are conducted campus wide on an annual basis.

VI. Institutional Policies on portable electrical appliances, smoking and open flames

Electrical Appliances:
Appliances allowed in the residence halls include small to medium size refrigerators. Refrigerators may not exceed 4.1 cubic feet and use less than two amps. Full size refrigerators and chest freezers are NOT permitted within the residence halls. Microwaves, computers, TVs, dvd players, stereos and hairdryers are all allowed. Other Appliances like clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, etc are not permitted within the residence halls. Cooking facilities are provided for your use in the kitchenette area near your house lounge. Small cooking appliances are allowed in your room. Most appliances (within reason) are allowed and may be used only if the following guidelines are observed:

Exercise caution at all times to avoid the possibility of fire or damage.
To avoid overloading electrical circuits, caution must be exercised if using more
than one appliance at a time. A loss of power in your room should be
reported to your RA.
Before using any major appliance, please have it inspected for safety by your RA.
Because of the severe fire hazard caused by any appliances (like hot plates) with exposed open coils and extension cords are not allowed in
the residence halls.
Power strips with individual breakers may be used.
George Foreman type grills are allowed.
Also due to being a fire hazard, halogen lamps (those with exposed halogen
bulbs) are also not allowed in the residence halls. Any other lighting that may cause a fire hazard is not allowed.
Irons may be used only on ironing boards or insulated surfaces, never on beds or
carpeted areas. This can and has caused fires and damage.
Space heaters are not permitted within the residence hall rooms.

Candles or Open Flames:
Due to the obvious dangers posed by any open flame, candles or any smoldering substance such as incense are not to be used in residence halls.
No Smoking Policy:
Southwest Minnesota State is comprised of smoke-free buildings. In accordance with State legislation effective January 1989, all lounge areas of residence halls are also designated as No Smoking areas. The Foundation Residence Apartments and Traditional Residence Halls are entirely smoke-free. Residents who smoke in the outside of their Houses should maintain a respectable distance from the front doors to avoid having the smell of smoke brought into the House(s). Residents who smoke outside also need to utilize the appropriate receptacles for their cigarette butts. Failure to do so will result in referral to the University Judicial office.

VII. Fire Safety education and training

Fire Safety education and training is available through the University Department of Public Safety.

VIII. Fire Safety Strategic plans

Long range fire safety plans include the maintenance of existing systems, continued fire/evacuation drills, review of and compliance with the Minnesota State Fire Code, and upgrading of systems as necessary.

IX. Resources

Residence Life Guide to Community Living: https://www.smsu.edu/CampusLife/HousingResidentialLife/08_09_Guide%20to%20Community%20Living.pdf
University Public Safety: https://www.smsu.edu/emergency/
SMSU Student Handbook: https://www.smsu.edu/nca/policies/Student%20Handbook%202009-2010%20Final%207.29.09.pdf

Last Modified: 2/9/17 10:29 AM