West Chester University has established fire safety regulations for your protection.
The following are general fire safety regulations you should be familiar with:
- No open flame devices are permitted in campus housing. This includes, but is not limited
to, candles, wax warmers, incense, and space heaters.
- Smoking is strictly prohibited in all campus housing, as well as any campus building.
- Possessing or using unauthorized appliances and heaters is prohibited.
- Reporting false alarms, tampering with fire alarm devices or otherwise threatening
the life safety of the members of the community is prohibited.
- Appliances used for food preparation (hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, indoor
or outdoor grills, coffee makers, hot oil poppers, etc) are prohibited in North Campus
Residence Hall rooms. They are considered serious fire hazards and can produce odors
that the building's ventilation system can not handle. You may find food preparation
appliances and a microwave at your residence hall front desk or in your residence
hall kitchen. Microwaves are also allowed in student rooms, but may not be any larger
than 0.7 cubic feet. Coffee makers with an exposed hot plate are prohibited; single-cup
coffee makers (without an exposed hot plate) are permitted.
- Each room or apartment is provided with a Safe-T-sensor™ microwave fire safety device
that must be used on microwave ovens. The Safe-T-sensor™ is designed to prevent microwave
cooking fires. This device is property of the University and must remain in the room
or apartment or turned in at check-out as instructed by the Residence Life and Housing
- The storage of combustible and flammable materials such as propane tanks, lighter
fluid, gasoline, turpentine (and other similar art supplies) is prohibited in all
- Breaking and/or removing screens and screen seals from windows and disposing of any
item from a window is prohibited.
- Athletic activity which could cause harm or disruption to residents and building facilities/fire
protection systems is prohibited (i.e. throwing, kicking or bouncing balls, playing
- Each student in University-owned facilities is provided with a Fire Shield™ surge
protector electrical outlet strip/extension cord for use in their room or apartment.
The only surge protector or extension cords permitted for use in University-owned
facilities are Fire Shield™ branded products. This surge protector is property of
the University and must remain in the room or apartment or turned in at check-out
as instructed by the Residence Life and Housing Services staff.
Students found in violation of these regulations are subject to disciplinary and possible
In Case of Fire
In the event of a fire or other situation requiring evacuation and notification of
emergency services personnel, please follow these directions:
- Sound the fire alarm by activating the nearest manual pull station.
- Move swiftly to the nearest emergency exit, remembering not to use the center stairwell
unless absolutely necessary.
- Call Public Safety (610-436-3311) once in a safe place to report the emergency.
- DO NOT re-enter the building for any reason.
In compliance with state regulations, fire drills are conducted at varying times on
a monthly basis in all residence halls and apartments. The participation of ALL occupants
of on-campus housing is required. Please follow these procedures:
- Become familiar with the fire exits nearest your room and the evacuation plans posted
on each floor of your building. Generally speaking, you should use the closest fire
tower to your room, but you should also be aware of a secondary exit in the event
your primary exit becomes unusable.
- DO NOT use the center stairwells in the event of an emergency. These stairwells must be
kept clear for emergency services personnel.
- Exit the building swiftly. Do not run, but walk briskly to the nearest exit. Remain
- After exiting the building, report to your pre-designated meeting location (determined
at the beginning of each school year). Apartment residents cannot remain in any external
stairwells or complex courtyards.
- DO NOT leave your meeting location or re-enter your residence hall unless instructed to
do so by university officials.
- DO NOT use the elevators.
Fire Detection and Protection
All residence halls and apartment buildings are equipped with fire alarm systems including
smoke detectors and automatic sprinkler systems. Residence halls have several manual
pull stations on each floor. The South Campus Apartments have manual pull stations
in each apartment, and the Village has manual pull stations in the exterior stairwells
of each building.
Automatic Sprinkler System Facts
- The sprinkler systems installed in the residence halls are "wet-pipe" sprinkler systems.
This means that there is water throughout the pipes in the system right up to each
- Sprinkler heads are heat sensing devices. They are set to activate once the area around
the sprinkler reaches a predetermined temperature. Sprinkler heads do not sense smoke.
- Each sprinkler head operates individually. In other words, the activation of one sprinkler
head will not cause the entire system to operate.
- While all systems vary by design, a typical sprinkler head will discharge approximately
15-30 gallons of water per minute, under pressure. In addition, most residence hall
sprinkler systems have fire pumps to boost the water pressure on the system, so water
discharging from a sprinkler head will accumulate quickly and cause significant flooding.
- After sprinkler activation, it may take an additional 15-20 minutes for the residual
water to drain out of a system after the valve is closed, causing even further water
Things to Avoid
- Never hang on sprinkler pipes, and never hang anything on a sprinkler head. Tampering
with sprinkler pipes and sprinkler heads can cause significant flooding and water
damage. More importantly, however, this will cause impairment and reduces its ability
to protect the building and its occupants in the event of a fire.
- Keep the area around each sprinkler head clear for a minimum of 18 inches, including
closet shelves. Obstructions to sprinkler heads will reduce their effectiveness in
the event of a fire.
- Never tamper with any fire protection equipment or block any fire protection devices
inside or outside the buildings.
- Do not cover or otherwise obstruct sprinkler heads, smoke detectors, or other fire
detection and suppression equipment.
- Do not open windows in stair towers during the winter months. Some stair towers are
not heated well enough to prevent water from freezing in the pipes. This can cause
leaks and flooding from broken pipes.
The automatic sprinkler systems and fire detection systems installed in the residencial
facilities are there for your protection. Do not tamper with them or use them for
any other purpose. Your cooperation is needed to help insure that, if needed, these
systems will operate as designed. All West Chester University fire safety policies
and procedures, as well as timely information on consumer product hazards, seasonal
fire safety tips, and fire safety statistics can be found on the Fire Safety homepage. Please check it often!
Health and Safety Inspections
There will be monthly inspections made of rooms and apartments/suites to ensure that
you are living in conditions that are safe and healthy. Staff will be looking for
issues such as overloaded electrical outlets, illegal cooking equipment, and standard
cleanliness and hygiene issues.These inspections are to ensure the health and safety
of the community as a whole. If you are found in violation of health and safety standards,
you will have seven days to correct the problem. If the problem is not corrected in
that time, you will face disciplinary action.
Possession of Weapons
Possession of weapons, including but not limited to firearms, bullets, explosives,
knives, etc., in any housing facility is prohibited and can result in suspension or
expulsion from the University.