Fire Safety

Most students have never lived for an extended period of time in a community living situation such as the residences. Even though we have direct-wired smoke detectors in all residential spaces and fire suppression sprinklers in most of our residential spaces, it is still important to emphasize fire safety for all members of our communities.  


Please review the Guidelines for On-Campus Living. This page includes all policies that support fire safety including but not limited to the following:

  • Prohibitions on certain appliances, extension cords, smoking, tampering with alarms and fire-safety equipment, etc.
  • All occupants must immediately exit the building when a fire alarm sounds.

Fire Safety Education

There are several initiatives in place to help first-year students learn about fire safety in residence halls:

  • On-Line Fire Safety and Active Shooter training. In August, students are emailed a link to an on-line class in Canvas that covers policies and safety strategies. All students are expected to complete the training before move-in day.  
  • Fire and Personal Safety Fairs. At the beginning of the fall semester, the Office of Residence Life collaborates with the Office of Environmental Safety and Risk Management, Miami University Police, HAWKS Peer Educators, and the Oxford Fire Department to put on Fire and Personal Safety Fairs. These events include the Great Escape simulation using non-toxic smoke in a residence hall corridor. Check the Welcome Weekend schedule for dates and times. 
  • Emergency Evacuation Drills. The Department of Environmental Safety and Risk Management conducts a number of emergency evacuation drills each year as required by Ohio state law. These drills typically take place during the day and may have a compliance component to ensure all residents have left the building. Emergency alarm equipment is typically assessed during the drills.

Microwave Oven Use

Microwave use: one of the greatest threats to residence hall fire safety.

Really? Microwave ovens cause fires? No. Not usually. Follow this reasoning for why microwaves are a threat to fire safety:

  1. A student improperly uses a microwave and:
    1. Burns popcorn by leaving it unattended.
    2. Burns mac-n-cheese by not adding water.
  2. The smoke from the microwave activates the building fire alarm.
  3. Everybody has to evacuate the building and the Oxford Fire Department has to respond, every time.
  4. Students hear that the evacuation (often at 2 a.m.) was caused by microwave misuse.
  5. Students become desensitized to the alarm - and may decide to not evacuate next time. That's the threat!

Students must always stay with the microwave when in use. Students should not rely on the "popcorn" button on the microwave. Students should always follow the instructions on the package.