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University Fire Safety Guidelines

The following regulations were established to maintain a safe living environment for students residing in Rutgers University housing. University fire safety regulations are enforced by certified Fire Inspectors of Emergency Services.

  • Students found in violation will be issued a violation and will be referred to Residence Life for disciplinary action.
  • Residents must discontinue use of cited hazards immediately, but are allowed seven (7) days to remove prohibited items from the residence hall.
  • A Fire Code Violation Follow-Up Form must be completed and returned to Residence Life verifying that the violation has been corrected.
  • Students who commit a second offense will be placed on probation and may face further disciplinary actions.
  • Students who commit a third offense may be removed from their residence.

Violations are issued to the student responsible for the offense. When it is not apparent to the Fire Inspector who was responsible, the violation will be issued to all occupants of the room. Students who believe their involvement has been inaccurately documented must submit an explanation, in writing, and return it to the Residence Life staff member within 10 days of the Notice of Violation issuance. If a student is found to not be responsible for the violation, the roommate will assume the full responsibility for correcting the violation.

Residents are reminded that under the provisions of the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code (N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.13 and N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.12A) they may be held financially liable for dedicated and compensatory penalties and the actual costs of extinguishing a fire directly, or indirectly, caused by a violation which had been cited and remained unabated.

Contact Information

For an Emergency
(Police, Fire, Medical)

Dial 9-1-1

Emergency Numbers
From a University Phone

Obtain an outside line, then dial 9-1-1

Non-Emergency Numbers
Rutgers University-Camden
856-225-6111
Biomedical and Health Sciences at Newark
973-972-4491
Rutgers University-Newark
973-353-5111
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
732-932-7211

Get Emergency Alerts on Your Cell Phone
During emergencies, accurate information is important. Rutgers students, faculty and staff can receive up-to-date information conveniently via cell phone text message. To register, update your emergency-notification information (NetID Required).

Program the Alternate
Public Safety Numbers into Your Cellular Phone

Download a Printable Roster

Items and Actions not permitted under the
University Fire Safety Regulations
  • Hoverboards, also known as self-balancing scooters and hands-free segways
  • Bed or furniture reducing the required width of the exit
  • Items hanging from the sprinkler head or pipe, heat detector, smoke detector or alarm
  • Electrical wiring that is "homemade" or otherwise modified
  • Unattended cooking, burning candle, or other open flame
  • Bicycle chained to the exit way element
  • Presence of candles of any type or form, oil lamp, or incense
  • Tampering with building fire alarm system
  • Discharge of Fire Extinguisher
  • Failure to evacuate building during an actual fire alarm or evacuation drill
  • Gasoline powered motorbike within building
  • Presence or evidence of prohibited electrical appliances. Hot Pot/Plate, Toaster oven, Halogen Lamp, Microwave (Other than University Supplied) Wok, Rice Cooker
  • Excessive quantity of combustible materials on walls or ceilings. Posters, fish nets or tapestry
  • Overloading of electrical receptacles, "cube taps", unfused power strip or surge protector
  • Accumulations of flammable liquids or materials.
  • Evidence of smoking
  • Electrical cords over 6 feet in length (all electrical cords must be in plain view and cannot be run under rugs or closet doors, nor secured to building surfaces or furniture.)
  • Space heaters
  • Hot plates
  • Immersion coils
  • Hot pots not meeting University specification (listed below)
  • Candles of any type (The use of candles in university housing rooms for religious purposes is prohibited due to the fire hazard this practice creates. Alternative appliances - electrically powered - exist to permit the resident to observe religious holidays without creating a fire hazard.)
  • Oil lamps
  • Fireworks
  • Sparklers
  • Incense
  • Smoke bombs
  • Wall hangings made of burlap or any other flammable materials, tapestries, fish netting, flags, and wicker ornaments
  • Combustible materials of any type are prohibited when attached to room ceilings
  • Posters and decorations with combined coverage of more than one-third of the available wall space are not permitted
  • All flammable and combustible liquids (including art supplies such as thinners, etc)
  • Gasoline-powered items such as motorcycles, mopeds, or their components
  • Chemicals
  • Electrical wiring that is "home made" or otherwise modified or transformed which creates a shock or fire hazard
  • Devices that overload electrical receptacles (more than three appliances per outlet, or multiple plug adapters or power strips with more than two cords attached).
  • Fused, multi-outlet surge protectors commonly used for protection of personal computers are permitted. However, multi-outlet surge protectors may not be plugged into an existing power strip (piggybacking), nor shall more than one (1) fused multi-outlet power strip be plugged into a building wall outlet.
  • Surge protectors or power strips without built-in fuses are not permitted
  • Light dimmers, ceiling fans, or any other device that replaces, adds to, or interferes with any building fixture.
  • Combustible or plastic lampshades or light fixture covers.
  • Torchiere lamps with Halogen bulbs, including lamps with guards. Halogen desk lamps and styles other than torchiere floor lamps are permitted.
  • Traffic and road signs observed in university housing rooms will be reported to the campus University Police Department office. Misappropriation of traffic and road signs may result in motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. Students in possession of traffic and road signs are subject to prosecution.

The following appliances are prohibited in all dormitory rooms; and in the bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms of apartments:

  • Electric toaster ovens
  • Broilers
  • Skillets
  • Hot dog/hamburger cookers
  • Electric woks
  • Rice cookers
  • Microwave ovens not provided by the University

Cooking is not allowed in dormitory or suite rooms, nor in other rooms than the kitchens of apartments.

Permitted Appliances
  • Popcorn Poppers
  • Automatic Coffee Makers, such as "Mr. Coffee"
  • Only hot pots meeting the following specification are permitted in university housing:
    • Must automatically shut itself off if the fluid boils off or if the pot is emptied.
    • Must be capable of accepting only water. Units capable of heating soup, etc. are not approved.
    • When in doubt, fire inspectors will conduct the following field test to determine compliance.
  • When purchasing a hot pot for use in a university resident hall or apartment, first READ the precautionary messages. If the device or packaging states, "do not operate when empty", the unit is unapproved.

    The following appliances are approved for use in the kitchens of university apartments ONLY. Approval is granted only if the appliance is Underwriters Lab (UL) listed and the unit is properly connected to the wall outlet:

  • Microwave Ovens
  • Electric Woks
  • Rice Cookers
Decoration Fire Safety Guidelines for Resident Halls and Apartments (Including Holiday Decorations)

In corridors, only aluminum foil is permitted on doors or walls to prevent a fire from obstructing a major exitway component.

Readily ignitable materials such as evergreen branches, boughs, etc. are prohibited in sleeping areas as well as in hallways, corridors, stairwells, or other means of egress. Combustible material such as wrapping paper, fabrics, etc. are prohibited when fastened to doors as well as when attached to walls or ceilings of corridors, stairways or other common areas designed as exitways.

Candles in any form are prohibited throughout all resident halls and apartments. Electric light Menorahs are permitted.

Combustible party decorations, gift wrappings, etc. must be disposed of promptly after use in the dumpsters provided outside of the residential buildings.

Live Evergreen Trees

  • Natural cut evergreen trees are only permitted in resident halls when placed in a non-sleeping area, which is protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
  • Cut evergreen trees must be placed in an appropriate tree stand.
  • The water level must be checked daily
  • Loose needles and other debris must be removed from the tree before it is displayed.
  • Should the fresh tree dry out, as evidenced by falling needles, it must be removed from the building immediately.
  • The tree may not obstruct any corridor, exit doorway, or other means of egress.
  • The tree may not be located near any heating vent or other heating device, which could cause the greenery to dry out prematurely.
  • Only non-combustible trimmings are permitted.
  • Prior to departure for winter recess, all evergreen trees and holiday decorations must be removed from the resident hall.
  • Only UL listed lighting sets may be used, and they shall not be decorated with paper or other combustible materials.
  • Decorative lights shall be turned off when occupants are not in the immediate area of the tree.

Artificial Holiday Trees

  • Artificial holiday trees must bear Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) listing labels for fire resistance. Artificial trees meeting the above requirement are permitted in all areas, subject to the following safety guidelines
  • The artificial tree must be placed in a suitable stand to prevent it from falling.
  • The tree may not obstruct any corridor, exit doorway, or other means of egress.
  • No flammable decorations, combustible tree skirts or decorative gift packages may be placed on or under an artificial holiday tree except in an area protected by automatic sprinklers.
  • Only UL listed lighting sets may be used, and they shall not be decorated with paper or other combustible materials.
  • Only non-combustible trimmings are permitted
  • Prior to departure for Winter recess, all holiday decorations must be removed from the resident hall.
  • Decorative lights shall be turned off when occupants are not in the immediate area of the tree.

Holiday Lighting Sets

  • All holiday lighting sets must bear UL listing tags
  • Lighting sets are prohibited in corridors.
  • All lighting sets must be physically examined before use to detect frayed wiring and other conditions which might create a shock or fire hazard. Defective sets must be discarded; sets showing evidence of repair are not permitted in the resident hall.
  • Lighting sets may be utilized on artificial trees, or placed around room windows.
  • Lighting sets are prohibited around room doorways.
  • All lighting sets displayed in sleeping rooms must be turned off when the room is unoccupied.
  • Lighting sets displayed on artificial trees located in lounges must be turned off when the room is unoccupied during hours of darkness.
  • Lighting sets may not be in contact with draperies, paper, or combustible decorations.
  • Lighting sets may not be hung from ceilings.
  • All electric lighting sets must be removed from the resident hall when departing for Winter Recess.
Mandatory Evacuation of Residence Halls During Fire Alarms

Residents dormitory buildings, suites, and University apartments are advised that pursuant to University and State fire safety regulations, upon the activation of a fire alarm, all occupants are required to immediately evacuate and to remain outside until directed to return by the fire official at the scene.