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Fire Safety

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many fires have occurred on campus in the past year?

A: The following is a breakdown of fire incidents between Jan. 1 and March 19, 2015:

  • Brush fires–0
  • Vehicle fires–0
  • Dumpster or trash can fires (outside of structure)–0
  • Building fires-2

Q: How many students have been injured on campus as a result of fire in the past five years?

A: Zero

Q: Are all of the residence halls equipped with complete fire sprinkler systems?

A: No. Two of the newest residence halls, Lenape Hall and Esopus Hall, have complete automatic fire sprinkler systems in place, as does Gage, Bouton, Scudder, Crispell, and LeFevre halls.  All remaining residence halls were built prior to 1984, and therefore have limited sprinkler coverage which includes the basement recycling areas.

Q: Does every student’s room have a smoke detector?

A: Yes. Each room has a smoke detector, and each suite area has a smoke detector. In addition, there are more than 5,000 other smoke detectors located in buildings across campus.

Q: Do all of the smoke and heat detectors automatically send an alarm notification to a 24-hour dispatch center for Fire Department dispatch?

A: Yes. all alarm activations are automatically reported via electronic notification to the New York State University Police station on campus. University Police then notify 911 to have the fire department dispatched, as well as respond with a New York State University police officer.

Q:My fire alarm panel is beeping. Is that OK?

A: Fire alarm panels go through a self diagnosis periodically and report minor issues in the form of a series of audible beeps at the panel. To silence the panel please call facilities maintenance at x3311.

Q: Is the fire department immediately dispatched to all fire alarm activations on campus?

A: Yes. Every fire alarm activation requires a response from the fire department, as per campus policy.

Q: Are smoking, candles, incense, and halogen lamps prohibited in the residence halls?

A: Yes. The danger of fire caused by these items is too severe to allow them, and students are informed to not bring these items with them to school. Smoking is the leading cause of fires in residence halls.

Q: What electrical power strip is approved for use on campus?

A: The power strip manufacturer/models approved for use on campus are Fire Shield LCDI Protected Surge Strip Cords 125V/15A models 90802-3FA (3 foot cord) and Model 90885-1 (12 foot cord) which all have heavy duty 15-amp circuit protection and heavy duty cords. These can be purchased by the using departments at many online stores. 

Q: Does the school require electrical appliances be tested and certified as safe and reliable before being permitted in the residence halls?

A: SUNY New Paltz requires all electrical appliances to be UL listed. UL (Underwriter’s Laboratory) tests and certifies electrical equipment and issues a UL Hologram which is affixed to the cord prior to sale. Products without this hologram, or with forged holograms, are prohibited on campus.

Q: How much fire prevention training does the residence hall staff receive?

A: Residence hall staff receive annual fire extinguisher training, as well as annual fire safety training, as per the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control Training Guidelines.

Q: How often are fire drills conducted?

A: Fire drills are conducted twice a semester in each residence hall (one during the daylight hours and one during the nighttime hours) and once a semester in all other academic buildings.

Q: What are the school’s disciplinary policies toward students who cause false fire alarms, fail to evacuate during drills or alarms, or tamper with portions of a fire safety system such as a fire extinguisher or a sprinkler system?

A: The school takes fire safety very seriously and any act that compromises the health and safety of students, staff, or visitors will result in strict disciplinary action, possibly including suspension, dismissal, or arrest.