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Fire Safety

A fire on campus not only interrupts our mission, but destroys valuable property and expensive equipment and can injure or kill people. Carelessness, forgetfulness and ignorance are factors in many fires. Smoke detectors warn you of a fire while time to escape still exists. Never tamper with smoke detectors or fire extinguishers; they may save your life.

Know about the fire safety features of the campus buildings, especially your own. In general, read the following sections:

Emergency Action Plan
Fire Prevention Plan
Hot Work Permits
Flammable Chemical Storage
Fire Extinguisher Use


Emergency Action Plan
Fire safety is an important part of our daily routine. During an emergency, proper action saves lives. For your safety, please familiarize yourself with these basic steps which pertain to employees on all University campuses, Marine Field Stations, Agricultural Field Experiment Stations and other facilities. It is very important that employees understand what to do in an emergency before they happen. Please contact Emergency Services and/or REHS to assist.

If you discover a fire or smell smoke, sound the building fire alarm.

  • Know the locations of the fire stations (fire alarm pulls) and how they operate.
  • Do not attempt to fight a fire due to the hazards associated with the products of combustion and the threat of a spreading fire.
  • Upon hearing a building fire alarm signal, which may be a bell, horn, or voice message depending on the building you are occupying, immediately begin evacuation. Always assume alarms are real.
  • Close the doors behind you.
  • Use the nearest safe exit, but DO NOT use elevators. Know the location of all exits from your building. All exits in University facilities are properly marked with illuminated EXIT signs and directional arrows, where applicable.
  • Leave the building and assemble in an area established by your supervisor, where you will not hinder the approaching firefighters and apparatus.
  • If caught in smoke or heat, stay low where the air is better and attempt to reach a safe exit or area of refuge.
  • If unable to leave your room or office due to heat or heavy smoke in the hallway, or due to physical disability, telephone University Police and give your exact location so the firefighters can be directed to you.
  • Activate the 9-1-1 telephone system using the procedure for your campus or other location.
  • Evacuation routes are posted in all resident halls, health centers, and high-rise buildings in accordance with the provisions of the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code. Where desired, evacuation route plans for other buildings may be prepared by unit supervisors; consultation with the Fire Safety Division is always available. However, all employees should be familiarized with ALL exits from the building in order that the nearest safe exit will be properly chosen in an emergency.

For further information regarding fire safety, to request assistance in developing office fire safety plans, or to schedule a fire safety training session contact the Fire Safety Division at New Brunswick extension 5325.

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Fire Prevention Plan

Rutgers University is required by the Pubic Employees Occupational Safety and Health Act (PEOSHA) to develop and implement a Fire Prevention Plan and an Emergency Action Plan meeting the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.38 (a) and (b). Copies of the plans are reproduced in this electronic format for your reference. All employees must adhere to and be familiar with the requirements of each plan.

Under the authority of the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety, The Rutgers University Department of Emergency Services' Fire Safety Division is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of New Jersey Uniform Fire Code, and is the authority having jurisdiction with respect to fire safety regulations, policies and procedures. The Fire Safety Division is staffed with State certified fire inspectors who regularly inspect all University premises to assure compliance with fire safety regulations, test fire protection systems and equipment, and conduct employee training programs to familiarize staff with fire hazards and procedures to be followed in an emergency. Furthermore, employees are apprised of the fire hazards of the materials and processes with which they work during state-mandated Right-to-know training.


Effective July 1, 1994, by action of the Rutgers Board of Governors, smoking is prohibited in all University buildings and within University-owned motor vehicles, thus eliminating the health and fire hazard associated with the use of smoking materials.

Hot Work Permits

A permit system for control of welding and cutting is in place within the Facilities organization to control this potential fire hazard. All other hazards are regulated through the inspection procedures.

Check out Hot Work Permit Program

Fire Extinguishers and Automatic Systems

University buildings are equipped with fire extinguishers in accordance with the requirements of the construction and/or fire safety codes. Employees are not expected to utilize these devices nor are they trained in their use due to the danger of their personal safety, which would result from attempting to extinguish a fire. Many buildings are protected by automatic sprinkler systems and others are provided with fire standpipe systems. All major buildings are equipped with automatic fire detection and alarm systems, which are constantly, monitored at the respective University Police Department stations. Special hazards, such as chemical storage, high voltage electrical, cooking, spray painting and computer installations are protected by fixed suppression systems in addition to the aforementioned types of built-in protection. There are no fire hoses for building occupant use located in any University building; only fire hose connections for fire department use exist.

Fire Safety Inspections

The University's Fire Safety Division is staffed by a supervising Fire Safety Inspector, Fire Safety Specialists, a Fire Officer and a fire alarm system Specialist.

Fire safety inspections generate formal, written Notices of Violation, which are issued to the individual responsible for the correction of an observed fire hazard. Reinspections are established and are conducted. There is a process that is followed for granting extensions of time for hazard abatement, as well as handling uncorrected cited hazards.

All fire protection systems are inspected at the frequencies required by the Uniform Fire Code. These include automatic sprinkler systems, standpipe systems, fixed suppression systems, fire alarm systems, emergency power generators, fire pumps, fire extinguishers and fire hydrants.

The Fire Safety Division is empowered, by New Jersey Regulation, to order the abatement of cited fire hazards, to assess penalties for non-compliance, and to issue punitive closing notices and vacate buildings where uncorrected hazards exist.

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Flammable Chemical Storage

  • Keep flammables in original containers or safety cans specifically designed for that purpose at all times.
  • You must follow maximum allowable container size. Check out the NFPA CHART BELOW!
  • Minimize the amount of flammable chemicals used and stored in your work areas.


Maximum Allowable Size of Containers

Container Type
Flamable Liquids
Class IA
Class IB
Class IC
Combustible Liquids
Class II
Class III
1 pint
1 quart
1 gallon
1 gallon
5 gallons
Metal or approved Plastic
1 gallon
5 gallons
5 gallons
5 gallons
5 gallons
Safety Cans
2 gallons
5 gallons
5 gallons
5 gallons
5 gallons

Taken from NFPA 45

The ABC's of Fire Extinguishers

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Campus Health Safety Specialists, or call (732) 445 - 2550
Deputy Chief William Scott, University Fire Official, or call at (732) 445-5325
Rutgers University Emergency Services Fire Prevention Section

For more information, contact webmaster Last Updated: 8/17/06
© 2010 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. All rights reserved.


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