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.
Smoke Free Residence Areas:
All residence areas have been designated as smoke-free facilities. Smoking is not allowed within any part of these facilities or within 20 feet of the buildings, including exterior balconies, stairways, steps and entranceways.
Decoration Policies:Housing & Residence Life is required by the Commonwealth of Virginia to adhere to the "Decorations and Trim" policies as stipulated in the 2000 International Fire Code. The Decoration Policies include the following requirements:
- Curtains, draperies, hangings, and other decorative materials suspended from walls or ceilings are prohibited. Windows are furnished with blinds or shades.
- Combustible materials that are secured under glass become classified as flame-resistant and are permitted.
- The aggregate of all flame-resistant materials cannot exceed more than 10% of the total wall area.
- Combustible: materials capable of being easily ignited. Some examples are: posters, flags, banners, pictures, calendars, curtains, tapestries, bulletin boards, paper or notices not otherwise documented as flame-resistant, and other fibrous materials.
- Noncombustible: materials not capable of combustion or easily ignited.
- Flame-resistant: includes articles in frames under glass, or materials tested and certified by an approved agency.
Absent acceptable evidence to the contrary, items appearing to be combustible must be removed when discovered. The display of noncombustible materials is not regulated by code; therefore, an unlimited amount may be displayed.
All residents and tenants are subject to the same Decoration Policies. Failure to comply will result in possible sanctions appropriate to the infraction, to include removal from University housing.
- Power strips must have a built-in circuit breaker and carry the
Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) approval. Power Strips are required
because THE USE OF EXTENSION CORDS VIOLATES FIRE CODE AND IS PROHIBITED.
- You cannot plug power strips into other power strips in a series, so bring one with a long cord.
- Cords/cables may not run under, through or around a door, and must be taped securely to the floor so they do not pose a tripping hazard.
- Electrical cables may not pass under any carpeting.
- Each room may have one microwave no
greater than 1200 watts and one small refrigerator not exceeding 5.0 cubic
feet capacity (or two refrigerators that are each 2.5 cubic feet capacity),
or one microfridge (a combined microwave, freezer, refrigerator appliance
unit). No cooking or heating appliances other than microwaves are permitted.
A microfridge requires a power allocator that allows only one appliance to run at a time, or an outlet strip with surge protection. Surge supressors can be purchased from Cavalier Computers at the U.Va. Bookstore.
- The following appliances are approved for use in residence halls:
- television sets
- popcorn poppers
- hot water kettles or single-serve coffee makers such as Keurig (1 per room)
- hair dryers
- electrical curling irons/heating curlers with enclosed heating coil
- computer equipment
- sound system entertainment
- lamps (except halogen lamps or lamps with plastic shades)
- Note that space heaters are not permitted.
Other Fire Safety Regulations:
- Postings in common areas will be restricted to areas approved and identified by Housing & Residence Life. Any unauthorized posting will be removed and disposed of immediately.
- It is a violation to block an exit for any purpose. No shoe racks, clothing racks, or other hanging devices may be placed on doors.
- Bicycles may not be stored in the room, suite, apartment, hallway or study lounge.
- No occupant or visitor will be permitted to collect and/or assemble material, which would constitute a fire hazard anywhere within the residence area. This includes excess trash, clutter or combustibles on the floor.
- No occupant or visitor will be allowed to kindle any type of fire within the residence area other than a match or lighter for the purpose of lighting a grill or to light a fireplace on the Lawn or Range.
- Prior to fireplace use, residents must attend fireplace training. Training dates and times will be distributed through residence staff.
- Posession of candles and incense is prohibited in the residence halls.
- Residents living in rooms with battery operated smoke detectors must perform a weekly test. Every Tuesday 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.
The State Fire Marshal inspects each residential area during the year 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.