Fire Safety

Buildings are equipped with fire detection systems including smoke and heat detectors. 

All student rooms are equipped with smoke detectors that are on building power with a battery backup in case of power outages. Building fire alarm devices are supervised and report a trouble signal to the panel should any device be damaged or removed. Fire doors are kept open with magnetic door holders until the fire alarm system is activated, at which time they release, close and latch, limiting the spread of smoke and fire. This system is effective in preventing fire doors from being propped open. 

There are several elements to fire safety in the residence halls of Occidental College including: building fire detection and suppressions systems, training, regular fire drills, mandatory evacuations for any fire alarm activations, fire safety and fire reporting policies.   

In August 2008 the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) became Public Law 110-315.  It amends the Higher Education Act (HEA) to include new reporting requirements for all institutions of higher education beginning with the 2009 calendar year.  A major component for institutions that maintain on-campus student housing is publishing an Annual Fire Safety Report, keeping fire statistics, and maintaining a fire log.

Learn about Prohibited Items.


Fire Reporting

All fires on campus, even if already extinguished and regardless of size, should be reported. Federal law requires the college to report on an annual basis all fires which occur in student housing. Persons to which individuals should report that a fire has occurred include:

• Director of Campus Safety or Campus Safety Officers
• Director of Risk Management
• Environmental Health & Safety Manager
• Others as deemed necessary


Evacuation Procedures

Practice drills help reinforce good evacuation behavior and present an opportunity to ask questions.

Upon activation of the residence hall fire alarm system all students and their guests must exit the building out the nearest safe exit and proceed to an assembly point, check-in, and receive further instructions from staff or Campus Safety. Residence Education staff is trained to assist in the sign-in and accountability of all students on the residence hall roster. Campus Safety Officers assist in the evacuation process and verify that all students have safely evacuated. Students get an evacuation procedure for residence halls as part of their orientation package.


Fire Safety Equipment

All student housing is outfitted with fire safety equipment.

Newcomb Hall
Newcomb Hall has a fully automated fire sprinkler system. The fire alarm system is monitored 24/7 by an outside contractor. Smoke detectors in student room air circulation soffits report to the building fire alarm system. Additional room smoke detectors are local only and do not report to the fire alarm panel. The emergency lighting system operates off of an inverter and battery bank.

Erdman Hall
Erdman Hall has a fully automated fire sprinkler system. The fire alarm system is monitored 24/7 by an outside contractor. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the building fire alarm panel. The emergency lighting system operates off of an inverter and battery bank.

Chilcott Hall
Chilcott Hall has a partial fire sprinkler system that covers the basement area and the trash chute. There is a wet standpipe system with fire hoses on each floor. The building fire alarm system is local only. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the fire alarm panel. Emergency lighting is supplied by battery powered bug-eye lights and exit signs.

Haines Hall
Haines Hall has a building fire alarm system that is local only. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the building fire alarm panel. All student rooms have mini horns. Emergency lighting is supplied by battery powered bug-eye lights and exit signs.

Eileen Norris Hall ("E.Norris")
Eileen Norris Hall has a building fire alarm system that is local only. There is a wet standpipe system with fire hoses in each quad. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the fire alarm panel. Emergency lighting is supplied by battery powered bug-eye lights and exit signs.

Stearns Hall
Stearns Hall has a partial fire sprinkler system that covers the trash chutes and trash receiving rooms. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the fire alarm panel. There is a wet standpipe system with several fire hoses on each floor. Emergency lighting is supplied by battery powered bug-eye lights and exit signs.

Braun Hall
Braun Hall has a partial fire sprinkler system that covers the trash chute and storage rooms on the 1st floor. There is a wet standpipe system with fire hoses on each floor. The fire alarm system is local only. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the fire alarm panel. Emergency lighting is supplied by battery powered bug-eye lights and exit signs.

Stewart-Cleland Hall ("Stewie")
Stewart-Cleland Hall has a partial fire sprinkler system that covers the trash chutes and the basement floor. There is a wet standpipe system with fire hoses on each floor. The fire alarm system is local only. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the fire alarm panel. Emergency lighting is supplied by battery powered bug-eye lights and exit signs.

Pauley Hall
Pauley Hall has a partial fire sprinkler system that covers the trash chute and several storage rooms on the 1st floor. There is a wet standpipe system with fire hoses on each floor. The fire alarm system is local only. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the fire alarm panel. Emergency lighting is supplied by battery powered bug-eye lights and exit signs.

Bell-Young Hall ("B-Y")
Bell-Young Hall has a fully automated fire sprinkler system. The fire alarm system is monitored 24/7by an outside contractor. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the fire alarm panel. Emergency lighting is supplied by an emergency generator, which is regularly tested, and is shared with Wylie Hall.

Wylie Hall
Wylie Hall has a fully automated fire sprinkler system. The fire alarm system is monitored 24/7 by an outside contractor. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the fire alarm panel. Emergency lighting is supplied by an emergency generator, which is regularly tested, and shared with Bell-Young.

Berkus Hall
Berkus Hall has a fully automated fire sprinkler system. The warming kitchen is supplied with an automatic fire suppression system in the hood above the stove. The fire alarm system is monitored 24/7 by an outside contractor. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the fire alarm panel. Emergency lighting is supplied by an emergency generator, which is regularly tested.

The Berkus House (1601 Campus Road)
The Berkus House has a fire alarm system that is local only. There is an automatic fire suppression system installed in the hood above the kitchen stove. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the fire alarm panel. Emergency lighting is supplied by battery powered bug-eye lights and exit signs.

4909 Rangeveiw (SAE House)
The SAE House has a fire alarm system that is local only. There is a sprinkler system that covers the basement. There is an automatic fire suppression system in the hood above the stove. Smoke detectors in student rooms are local only and do not report to the fire alarm panel. Emergency lighting is supplied by battery powered bug-eye lights and exit signs.