College fire safety report released

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise’s has released its annual fire safety report that includes the procedures and statistics surrounding fire safety policies.

The campus fire log details incidents involving an open flame on campus. Only one incident has occurred on campus in the last three years. The incident was deemed arson and no one was injured.

“The College works diligently to ensure that fire policies and procedures are in place that promote safety of students in our residential community,” College Compliance and Student Conduct Administrator Stephanie Shell said Friday.  “It is imperative that students take personal responsibility for reviewing safety information posted on the back of their room doors, engage in safety programming, and fully participate in fire drills.  Each of these efforts is purposeful in educating students on fire safety.”

The fire log is available to the public and can be found in Campus Police Department.

The report reminds students of precautions they can take in case of a fire. Campus officials should be notified and 911 should be called immediately. Students should provide as much information on the fire as possible, including cause of fire, time, and location.

The report also reminds students that fire evacuation procedures are present on each floor of all resident halls and is also posted on the inside of every residential bedroom door. The instructions include:

  • Check every door for smoke or heat. If you are unable to exit, find other means of exiting, or hand an object outside of the window, like a towel or blanket to allow rescuers to know you are there.
  • When leaving the building, wear hard soled shoes, bring a towel to place over your face to prevent smoke inhalation, close the windows of your room and the door behind you, and leave the building as quickly as possible.
  • Wait to return to the building until campus police or fire personnel give permission.

For students and staff living on campus, there are fire safety education programs held at the beginning of each semester. Fire drills are conducted every semester to test out procedures and conduct controlled exercises for students and faculty.

The new report details restrictions and prohibited items for residential students. Only 10 percent of the walls and doors of the residence hall, room, or apartment are allowed to be covered with pictures, posters, etc. Nothing can be hung from the ceiling.

A list of prohibited items is included in the list banning combustible items such as fireworks and candles, heaters with open coils, hot plates and other similar cooking appliances, and extensions cords with multiple outlets. Smoking of any kind is also prohibited in the residence halls.

A number of items have been added to the list of prohibited items including decorative lights, hoverboards/self-balancing boards, large potted/ cut plants or trees, and windowless air conditioner units.

Fire safety equipment and systems are continually evaluated and improvements will be made as needed to insure the safety of students and faculty, according to the report.

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