To Our Campus Community:

Fire safety is a critical component of everyone’s responsibility at the University. Unfortunately, on average, someone in the United States dies in a fire about every 162 minutes, and deaths from fires and burns are the fifth most common cause of unintentional injury deaths.

At UNC-Chapel Hill fire safety and emergency planning is a 24/7 operation and involves comprehensive and systematic planning that includes inspections, engineering, enforcement, response, fire investigation, education, and training.

With more than 8,500 dormitory residents; 9,300 including the student family housing neighborhood of Baity Hill; 400 buildings; 170 sprinkled buildings; 7,000 fire extinguishers; 275 alarms; seven dining facilities; and 44 standalone cooking hood extinguisher systems, the Fire Safety section team works all over campus, every day, to ensure fire safety. Their daily schedules include a wide range of activities, including testing alarms, sponsoring fire test drills, and inspecting fire extinguishers.

In the past three years, there have been 18 fires reported in our student housing facilities. None of these fires resulted in a death or injury requiring medical treatment, and no single fire incident had a property loss of greater than $1,000 in value. During this period, 89% of fire incidents were associated with cooking or food preparation. One fire occurred in an elevator motor, and another fire was associated with damage to a wall outlet.

Developing a culture of fire safety awareness for the campus community is the number one priority for the Fire Safety team, with online and instructor-led classes for students and employees on the proper use of fire extinguishers, emergency coordinator responsibilities, general emergency response, and administrative emergency response procedures.

This annual Fire Safety Report is a requirement of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (PL 110-315) requiring all United States academic institutions to provide information regarding fire safety practices and standards as well as statistics regarding fires in campus housing facilities.

Our purpose is to support the University’s core mission of teaching, research, and service by providing comprehensive environmental, health, and safety services to the University community. That effort is always improved when our campus members take an active role in contributing to safety initiatives. In that spirit, we invite your comments and suggestions about how we can continue to make UNC-Chapel Hill a safe place for all.

Sincerely yours,

Mary Beth Koza
Executive Director
Environment, Health and Safety/Risk Management