Most of Carleton’s residential buildings are old structures. The density of the population in the halls and houses, combined with the age of some of the buildings make fire safety an important issue for everyone. Like security, fire safety is the responsibility of every resident; one damaged smoke alarm or one overloaded extension cord can put the entire building at risk.

Smoke Detectors & Fire Extinguishers

Each room has a smoke detector that will sound with a limited amount of smoke. Residents should notify staff immediately if their smoke detector is not working. Always contact Security to silence/disconnect a detector (even if the detector is malfunctioning). Tampering with equipment is not only against College policy and federal law, it jeopardizes the safety of every resident of that building. When an extinguisher is used for any reason, inform Hall Staff immediately so they can contact Security Services or the Maintenance and Custodial Office to have the extinguisher recharged.

Safety Guidelines

  • Ceiling hangings are banned in the residence halls. Generally, the fabrics used are flammable and would easily ignite if exposed to heat for an extended period of time.
  • Refrigerators larger than 3.6 cubic feet and air conditioners are prohibited. Electrical devices such as hot plates, coffee makers, irons and similar heat producing items should be used outside of student rooms in kitchens, lounges or laundry rooms.
  • Electrical outlets should not be overloaded. Each room carries an electric load limit of 10-15 amps (a stereo draws two to three amps, a TV draws three amps, a small refrigerator draws three amps). Avoid running extension cords under carpets or near furnishings that can ignite. If fuses are frequently being blown in a room, contact the Maintenance and Custodial Office immediately to have the outlets checked for overloads and rule out faulty wiring.
  • Smoke detectors need to be functioning at all times. The risk to residents is tremendous if smoke detectors are not functioning properly. Maintenance and Custodial staff should be called immediately if smoke detectors are broken or malfunctioning. If a smoke detector is sounding, call the Maintenance and Custodial Office or Security immediately. NEVER attempt to repair a smoke detector yourself. All room detectors in Burton, Davis, Evans, Faculty Club, Goodhue, Musser, Myers, Nourse, Parish, Sevy and Watson are wired to a central alarm system, which reports any malfunctioning/altered detectors. Smoke detectors in off-campus houses public areas of the off-campus houses are centrally monitored and the room detectors are tested by staff each year during routine fire safety inspections. The sprinkler fixture must not be blocked or used as a hanger for any item.
  • Lofts and waterbeds are prohibited in all Carleton residence halls/houses. Due to heat produced, halogen lamps are not permitted.
  • Items should not be stored on room vents and radiators. Items stored on or too close to vents and radiators not only block the flow of air necessary to heat the room, but also present a potential fire hazard during the heating season.
  • Flame-or spark-producing items including candles, incense burners, oil burning lamps, lanterns, etc., are not permitted in residential facilities.
  • All pets and animals, except those necessary for disabled individuals, are prohibited. The only exception to this rule is fish.
  • City fire codes have established the occupancy for each room on campus; therefore the occupancy of a room may not be increased by residents (i.e., two doubles may not place all beds in one room and use the other as a lounge).
  • Wall hangings cannot cover outlets, cords, switches or heat vents/radiators. Loosely hung cloth or paper wall hangings can spread fire very quickly. Edges of posters and other items should be flush with the wall.
  • The presence of explosives (fireworks, volatile materials such as lighter fluid and gasoline) and weapons are prohibited.
  • All windows and doors must be unobstructed and able to serve as a means of egress in an
    emergency. Decorations, bookcases, chairs, etc. should not block a possible emergency escape route.

What to do in an emergency

  • If you spot a fire or smoke, sound the alarm immediately. Then, from a safe location call the fire department (9-911) and Security (ext. 4444), identify yourself, and give the appropriate information on location.
  • When a fire alarm sounds, all residents of the hall/house MUST leave the building via the nearest exit. Before leaving (if possible), residents should close all windows in the room and leave their door unlocked. NEVER USE THE ELEVATOR AS A MEANS OF ESCAPE. Once the situation is resolved/investigated, the “all clear” will be given by Security and residents may reenter the building.