Fire and Safety Information


Link to claims for auto accidents or occupational injury & illness, please contact Human Resources.

If you discover or suspect a fire:

Call 911. Provide as much information as possible to the dispatcher. Sound the building fire alarm.

Listed are some potential fire hazards that should not occur in residence halls.

  1. Abuse of electrical supply - Use of electrical devices to obtain an excessive number of outlets can result in the overload of circuits.
  2. Waste - All waste should be disposed of on a daily basis. Blocking exit paths is prohibited by law. Corridors and stairs must be kept free from obstacles.
  3. Storage - Blocking exit paths is prohibited by law. Doorways, corridors and stairs must be kept free of obstacles, therefore no storage is allowed in any public area or hallway.
  4. Flammable liquid storage - gasoline, paint, glue, etc., must not be stored in residential buildings.
  5. Unattended Appliance - Percolators, irons, etc., should never be left unattended.

Obey any Residence Life staff instructions in any emergency or fire situation.

In case of fire:

  2. If there is smoke in the room, keep low to the floor.
  3. Before opening a door, feel the door and the door knob. If they are hot, do not open the door.
  4. Before opening a door, brace yourself against it and open it slightly. If heat or heavy smoke is present, close the door and stay in the room.
  5. If you can leave the room, take your room key and close all doors behind you.
  6. Go to the nearest exit or stairs. If the exit contains dense smoke, find another escape route. Posted in each room, hallway, and stairwell are evacuation plans for your reference.
  7. After evacuating the building, meet at your designated area and stand clear.
  8. If all exits are blocked, stay in your room. Remain calm.
  9. Call 911. Tell them where you are and that you need assistance.
  10. Open a window slightly to let fresh air in. Take care not to draw smoke into the room or feed the fire by creating a draft.
  11. Draw water from the bathroom to keep towels and sheets wet.
  12. Place wet towels and sheets around doors and cracks.
  13. Hang an object out the window to attract fire department's attention (sheet, blanket, or jacket).
  14. If heavy smoke is present, place wet towel over your nose and mouth and keep low to the floor.



Residence Life Fire and Safety Policies

Residence Hall Safety Violation


Candles and/or Incense

 $50.00 ea

Failure to evacuate during drills


False fire alarm


Fire alarm due to negligence


Halogen lamp


Misuse of safety equipment


Propping door


Tampering with fire extinguisher


Recharge fire extinguisher


False discharge of fire extinguisher


Smoke detector unplugged / missing battery


Smoking in or around residence halls


Space heater


Candles and Incense

Candle/oil warmers, wax sculptures, potpourri pots, paraffin baths, incense, and any open flame are prohibited in residence halls for fire safety reasons. Candles should not be used during power outages or in holiday season decorations such as jack-o-lanterns, Christmas wreaths or menorahs. Possession of candles, incense or any item mentioned above will result in a fine of $50 for each candle or item (capped at $250). The student must remove the item from the building immediately. For any subsequent violation, the fine will be $250.


Propping of exterior doors, as well as interior stairwell doors, laundry doors, etc. is prohibited for safety reasons. Residents who prop any door will be fined $250 and may be subject to disciplinary action. This includes doors being held open by residents that are standing in the doorway. Do not hold doors open with your hand, arm, or leg for any reason. If you are caught propping the door with your body or an object (including any foreign objects impeding the crash bar), you will be fined $250. The rationale from this policy stems from security issues, air conditioning issues, and consistent enforcement of policies. If your building has card access security, an alarm will sound if the doors are propped.

Electrical Power Strips

All power strips should be UL approved and have a grounded plug. It is recommended that students purchase power strips with circuit breakers for additional safety.

Extension Cords

Extension cords are not permitted.

False Fire Alarm (Prank)

False fire alarms will result in a minimum damage charge of $250. Any person found to be responsible for activating a false fire alarm will be referred to the Dean of Students' Office for additional disciplinary action.

Fire Doors

Fire doors are intended to limit the spread of fire and smoke from one area to another. Propping these doors open adds to potential fire damage. Individuals responsible for propping fire doors shall be subject to disciplinary action.

Fire Drills

Fire drills are conducted to educate residents with the sound of the fire alarm, the emergency exits that are available and the procedure for evacuating the building. During a fire drill, every room will be checked by a resident advisor to ascertain that all areas have been evacuated. Failure to evacuate during a drill or alarm will result in a $250 fine and further disciplinary action.

Halogen Lamps

Halogen lamps are prohibited in the residence halls. Use of these lamps is also against the National Electrical Code and the Life Safety Code. Several universities have experienced residence hall fires due to the amount of heat these lamps produce. These lamps may also put a strain on the building electrical wiring due to the amount of amps they require. Possession of a halogen lamp will result in a fine of $25. The student must remove the lamp from the building immediately.


Space heaters and radiators, whether electric or kerosene powered, are not allowed in residence halls. Possession of a space heater will result in a fine of $25. The student must remove the heater from the building immediately.

Light Fixtures

The use of acetate, cellophane, tissue paper, or other combustible materials over or in the light fixture is forbidden by fire safety regulations.

Safety Equipment

Any student found to be responsible for the misuse of safety equipment, which includes, but is not limited to: fire hoses and valves, emergency lights, exit signs, smoke/heat detectors, fire panels, electrical panels, fire extinguishers, and public area lighting, will be assessed a $250 fine and be subject to further disciplinary action. NOTE: Tampering, pulling, disabling, disconnecting, and/or dismantling a fire alarm system for any reason is both a federal and state criminal offense. Anyone found in violation of the above criminal offense will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors should be operational at all times. Staff will perform routine checks to determine that all smoke detectors are functioning. Failure to have a smoke detector plugged in (or missing a battery) is a safety violation and is subject to a fine of $250 and disciplinary action.


Sam Houston State University is a tobacco free campus. The use or possession of tobacco products or related items (snuff, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, etc.) is prohibited on campus. Electronic cigarettes, hookahs and water pipes are not permitted. Dip or “spit” cups or other sources of saliva and tobacco are also prohibited on campus. Use or possession of tobacco products will result in a $100.00 fine for the first violation. Subsequent violations will result in an additional $100.00 fine and disciplinary action which may include your housing contract being terminated. Possession of dip or “spit” cups will also result in disciplinary action. Residents will be responsible for the actions of their guests.

Training and Education for Fire Safety

Sam Houston State University Department of Residence Life takes measure to ensure that staff and students are trained on fire and safety procedures.  All staff members receive training on the operation of a ABC fire extinguisher.  Staff members conduct floor meetings once per semester (Fall, Spring, summer 1, and Summer 2) to educate students about the safety devices and procedures.  This includes but is not limited to appropriate use of fire safety equipment, penalties and sanctions for tampering with fire safety equipment, reporting malfunctions with equipment, and providing instruction on evacuation procedures during fire alarms.  A fire drill is conducted each semester (Fall, Spring, summer 1, and Summer 2) to ensure that residents know what the alarm sounds like, know the distance they should be away from the building, and become familiar with evacuation routes.  In the event of an actual fire hall staff will evacuate the building and encourage residents to do so as well.  Hall staff will not knock on doors, force evacuation, or key into resident rooms. 

Residence Hall Staff are trained to visibly monitor the operation of smoke detectors, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, exit signs, and fire panels.  Initial training takes place during the first semester of employment with continued training each semester thereafter.  Where applicable staff will physically test the smoke alarms. Testing is done on a monthly basis.  Any audible alarms (building alarm or fire panel) are reported by staff to the Sam Houston State University Police Department.  Any physical malfunctions with equipment are reported to Residence Life Maintenance via an online work order.  Both hall staff and students are able to report concerns with fire safety equipment.

Emergency call outs for fire safety equipment are routed to either the Sam Houston State University Police Department (UPD) or the Residence Life Maintenance Office.  UPD and Residence Life Maintenance work closely to ensure that all equipment concerns are corrected and repairs are made quickly. 

Documentation of Evacuation Drills

Any time a building alarm sounds, a Fire Alarm Evaluation is completed. The electronic evaluation is submitted to the Assistant Director of Facilities & Risk Management (Residence Life). The form is then sent to Sam Houston State University Environmental Health & Safety Office. Please see the included fire log on this current web page. 

Residence Life Fire Log as of 5-23-2024

Annual Security & Fire Report

Fire Safety Systems for Residence Life Facilities