Fire Response Procedures

If you discover a fire:

  • Pull the nearest fire alarm box (pull station).
  • Leave the building via the nearest exit. Call 911 to report the fire once safely outside.
  • Check doors for heat before opening them – do not open doors if hot to the touch.
  • Do not use elevators to exit the building.
  • Gather outside the building at the location identified by your Resident Advisor.
  • Remain outside the building until an emergency response official gives permission to re-enter.

In the event of a fire alarm:

  • Evacuate the building immediately. Failure to leave the building during a fire alarm may result in referral to Housing authorities for a conduct violation.
  • Leave the building via the nearest exit.
  • Check doors for heat before opening them – do not open doors if hot to the touch.
  • Do not use elevators to exit the building.
  • Gather outside the building at the location identified by your Resident Advisor.
  • Remain outside the building until an emergency response official gives permission to re-enter.

Reporting Fires on Campus

The Department of Environment, Health and Safety is the responsible University authority for fire safety reporting. All fires that occur on University property must be reported to the University Fire Marshal as soon as possible. Any response to campus by the Chapel Hill Fire Department is automatically reported to the University Fire Marshal. To report a fire that has been safely extinguished and not previously reported to fire safety officials, contact David Guynn, University Fire Marshal, at 919-962-5708 or via e-mail at dtguynn@ehs.unc.edu.

Fire Prevention/Community Living Standards

The University and Carolina Housing have enacted a variety of policies and procedures relating to the prevention of fire within residence halls. The list below is a summary—housing residents should refer to the Community Living Standards for more information.

Tampering with Fire Protection Systems

Damaging, tampering with, or impairing the function of any fire protection system at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is prohibited by University policy and is a crime in North Carolina (NC General Statutes, §14-286). The University will pursue cancellation of the housing contract for any tampering or impairment violation.

Open Flame

The use of open flame is permitted at any University-owned grill located at student housing facilities. Any other use of open flame, whether indoor or outdoor, is prohibited at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill without a permit from the University Fire Marshal. This includes, but is not limited to the use of a private grill on University property or the use of candles within buildings.

Smoking/Vaping

Smoking is prohibited in residence halls or within 100 feet of a University building. This includes the use of e-cigarettes or vaporizers per University policy.

Decorations and Storage

Decorations that may obstruct traffic or present a fire hazard (e.g. live Christmas trees) are not permitted in rooms, hallways, or suite corridors. Decorations may not be placed within two feet of a fire protection system component (e.g., manual pull station, smoke detector, bell/horn/strobe, sprinkler, fire extinguisher, exit sign, emergency lighting, egress doorway).

It is prohibited to store any item that may pose a fire hazard in a residence hall room.  These items include, but are not limited to: incense, hookah pipes, or any flammable or combustible liquid. Storage within residence hall rooms must be kept orderly. At least 18 inches of vertical clearance must be maintained between occupant storage and any fire sprinkler head.

Weapons/Explosives

Possession, storage, manufacture, use, sale, or distribution of firearms, fireworks, explosive material, ammunition, BB and pellet guns, paint guns, knives, martial arts weapons, and all other dangerous weapons are prohibited in residence halls.

Electrical Appliance Requirements

Residence halls must comply with University policy, which restricts each individual residence hall room to 1800 watts usage at any time.

  • No single appliance can exceed 1000 watts of usage or have an exposed heating element.
  • Two-prong extension cords, plug adapters, and halogen lamps and bulbs are also prohibited. Residents using extension cords must use grounded three-wire extension cords and/or surge protectors.
  • Power strips can be damaged by overloading, overheating, or by being pinched/crimped by furniture and doors. While the damage can be internal and not visible to the eye, it can potentially lead to dangerous cord fires. In addition to surge protection, some power strips have a built-in sensor and electronics to detect damage and prevent a cord fire from occurring by automatically disconnecting the power supply before a problem can occur.  It is highly recommended that students purchase power strips that have both surge protection and cord fire protection in order to ensure maximum safety.  This style of power strip can be purchased at UNC Student Stores.
  • Power strips must be directly connected to wall outlets. Power strips may not be connected to other power strips or to extension cords.
  • Space heaters are prohibited for use in residence hall rooms.
  • Only University-owned air-conditioning units may be used in residence halls. Personal air-conditioning units are prohibited due to electrical circuit limitations and safety concerns.
  • Halogen lamps and multi-bulb fixtures (i.e., “octopus” or “spider” lamps) are expressly forbidden in the residence halls.
  • Frayed wiring is a significant fire hazard; all appliances must have intact factory wiring

Approved items (residence halls):

  • blender
  • can opener
  • coffee maker
  • crock pot
  • desk lamp
  • electric grill, indoor (for example, George Foreman)
  • electric mixer
  • floor lamp (non-halogen, single bulb)
  • fans – floor or window type
  • food processor
  • hot air popcorn popper
  • hot dog steamer
  • hot pots
  • low heat warming tray
  • microwave oven
  • power outlet strip
  • rice cooker
  • small refrigerator: max = 2’ x 3’ x 1’ (6 cubic feet), limit one per student; MicroFridges offered through RHA Move-in Market are approved
  • three prong extension cords
  • toaster

Because the apartments on campus (Ram Village, and Baity Hill) have kitchens with stoves, ovens, and countertop space, the following items are approved for use in these facilities in addition to the list above:

  • deep fat fryer (Baity Hill apartments only)
  • electric fry pan
  • electric griddle
  • electric wok
  • toaster oven

Not Approved items (residence halls):

  • WiFi router
  • ceiling fan
  • deep fat fryer
  • electric fry pan
  • electric griddle
  • electric wok
  • fog and smoke machine
  • flammable or combustible liquids (including gasoline, diesel, kerosene)
  • halogen bulbs and lamp
  • hot oil popcorn popper
  • hot plate
  • moped or scooter
  • multiple bulb light fixture (“octopus” or “spider” lamps)
  • toaster oven
  • two-prong extension cords
  • Hoverboards

If you have questions about a specific appliance, please contact your Community Director or email housing@unc.edu with your question.