Fire Safety and Decoration Policies
University of Virginia Housing & Residence Life is truly committed to your safety. With so many students living in such close proximity within our residence houses, each and every resident plays an important role in fire prevention. The following policies are designed to aid in fire prevention and protect the safety of all residents.
In addition to the information on this page, the University Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) can assist in answering questions if you contact the University Fire Marshal at firstname.lastname@example.org. EHS will also perform courtesy inspections upon request.
All residence areas have been designated as smoke-free facilities. Smoking is not allowed within any part of residence areas or within 25 feet of the buildings, including exterior balconies, stairways, steps and entranceways.
- Curtains, draperies, hangings, banners and fabric flags suspended
from walls or windows are prohibited. Windows are furnished with compliant
blinds or shades.
- Total wall space covered by permitted combustible material (such as posters, corkboards or calendars) must be less
than 10%. Any additional combustible material on the walls must be framed
under glass or acrylic/Plexiglas.
- No metal tacks, fasteners, screws or nails. We recommend Scotch® Mounting Putty or Command strips, as these products will likely not remove paint or cause damage to walls. Do not remove the Command strips at the end of the year; these will be removed by Facilities Management staff. Please test the putty product on one area of your wall before using in multiple areas. You can be held financially responsible for any damages made to your wall.
- Nothing may be suspended from or attached to the ceiling or sprinkler and heat pipes. Furniture and stored items must maintain at least 18 inches clearance from ceiling and sprinkler heads at all times.
- No paper lanterns unless there are no bulbs in them.
Lanterns may not be suspended from walls or ceilings.
- At most 3 strands of decorative lights can be strung together.
- Furniture and personal belongings cannot touch, or be stacked against
or in front of, radiator units.
- Live and artificial decorative trees are prohibited. Additional prohibited items can be found here: http://www.virginia.edu/housing/safety.php?id=items.
- Power strips (including bed risers with built-in power outlets) must be UL approved and have a built-in circuit breaker and on/off switch. Power strips may not be used in series to create a longer cord. Power strips must not hang by the cord, but should be supported on the floor or other flat surface.
- No extension cords.
- No multi-plug adapters or converters.
- All electrical cords must be out of the way of foot traffic. No electrical
cords across the middle of the floors, hallways, doorways, etc., or underneath area rugs or clothing.
- No halogen lamps, octopus lamps or lamps with plastic shades.
- No open flame or open burner appliances of any kind. This includes coffee pots, hotplates, George
Forman type grills, toasters and toaster ovens, and space heaters. (Toasters are allowed in Graduate & Faculty/Staff Housing only)
- Each room may have one microwave (1200 watts or less)
and one small refrigerator (5.0 cubic feet or less). Alternatively, a microfridge with a
surge supressor is permissible. Compliant microfridges and surge suppressors can be
Cavalier Computers at the UVA Bookstore.
- The following appliances are approved for use in residence halls:
- computer equipment
- television sets
- video game systems
- popcorn poppers
- rice cookers
- hot water kettles
- single-serve coffee makers such as Keurig (1 per room)
- hair dryers
- electrical curling irons/heating curlers with enclosed heating coil
- stereos, iPod docks and alarm clocks
- lamps (except those prohibited above)
- Doors must be able to open all the way. Do not place furniture, clothing,
or any object behind doors that will prevent them from opening all the way.
- Trash, recycle bins and boxes are not to be placed in the hallways, stairwells, or
lounge areas. Trash must be disposed of immediately.
- No over-the-door shoe racks, towel racks, mirrors, or other hanging
devices on doors.
- No door mats or area rugs in hallways. Combustible material on doors or walls of hallways is prohibited.
- No shoes, clothing, gym bags, boxes, furniture, etc. blocking egress.
- No storage on stairwell landings or under stairwells.
- No bicycles in suites, apartments, hallways, stairwells or study lounges.
Bicycles may be stored in student bedrooms as long as the means of egress is maintained.
- No motorized vehicles may be stored indoors.
- Propping doors open with wedges or other items when the room is unattended is prohibited.
- No excess trash, clutter or combustibles on the floor.
- No occupant or visitor may light or kindle any type of fire
within the residence area other than in fireplaces on the Lawn
- Prior to fireplace use, Lawn and Range residents must attend fireplace training.
Training dates and times will be distributed through resident
- No lighter fluid, gasoline, propane, or other flammable liquids in the residence halls.
- Possession of candles and incense is prohibited.
Residents living in rooms with battery operated smoke detectors
must perform a monthly test. The first Tuesday of each month has been designated
"Test Tuesday" to manually test these detectors.
Housing & Residence Life provides visual smoke detectors for the hearing impaired. If you require one, notify the Facilities Service Desk.
Altering or tampering with heating, electrical and fire safety devices or systems is prohibited, including but not limited to smoke detectors, fire alarm systems and fire extinguishers. Smoke alarms may not be taken down, covered, nor have their batteries removed.
The State Fire Marshal inspects each residential area annually for fire code violations. Any area found to be in violation shall be re-inspected, and any resident still in violation of code or Housing & Residence Life regulations is subject to judicial action and possible removal from University housing. Residents will receive e-mail notification when the inspections will occur. Residents of spaces found in violation will receive notice via e-mail of the violation, as well as a follow-up from a resident staff member. Spaces in violation will be re-inspected until the violation is corrected.
In the event a resident fails to remove articles considered to impose immediate hazards or serious threat to life or property, they will be removed by University staff.