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For Safety's Sake

Tip 1:
Interested in helping improve campus safety? Students can become safety volunteers, receive special training, and assist residence life staff in fire safety procedures.

Tip 2:
Upon request, Pitt police community relations officers will conduct apartment security surveys and Crime Watch programs. For more information, call 412-624-4040.

Living at Pitt

Residence Hall Fire Safety

All 14 residence halls, 14 residential apartment buildings, and nine fraternity houses on the Pittsburgh campus are nonsmoking environments. Each sleeping and living room in on-campus student housing has a smoke detector. Other fire safety devices in every residence hall, residential apartment building, and fraternity house on campus at Pitt include building fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, and smoke/heat detectors in common building spaces and mechanical rooms.

Every residence hall and fraternity house and all but two residential apartment buildings on the Pittsburgh campus are equipped with automatic sprinkler protection, and 12 of the 14 residential apartment buildings on campus are protected with automatic sprinklers.

All sprinkler systems, all fire alarm pull stations, and certain smoke detectors are monitored 24/7 by Pitt police and off-site by a nationally recognized security company. Detection by automated fire protection features or the use of a manual pull station will activate the building’s alarm system of horns/speakers and strobe lights.

When the fire alarm activates, all occupants must exit via the nearest stairs.

If you discover a fire:

  1. Alert anyone in immediate danger.
  2. Close the door to contain smoke or fire.
  3. Activate the nearest fire alarm pull station (located along the egress route).
  4. Call 412-624-2121 from a safe area to provide additional information regarding the situation. Only use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small and you have been trained in the proper use of an extinguisher.
  5. Evacuate the building via designated stairwells and exterior exit doors. Do not use the elevators.
  6. Proceed to an assembly point away from the building. Do not re-enter the building until the “all clear” signal is given.

If the building cannot be exited, stairwells are the area of refuge. In all residence halls, all on-campus fraternity houses, and the majority of the residential apartment buildings, the stairwells have fire-rated construction and are equipped with self-closing and latching fire doors.

At least two emergency evacuation exercises are conducted for each on-campus residence hall, fraternity house, and residential apartment building during every school year. Other fire education programs are provided to the residence life staff and to specific groups. Residence life staff and desk attendants are trained in building emergency evacuation procedures. Fire extinguisher training is provided to designated personnel. Fire safety training for all students, staff, and faculty is available annually during Fire Safety Day in September.

Students should report any fire event regardless of size by activating a manual pull station and, after evacuating to a safe area, by calling the Pittsburgh Campus Emergency Number, 412-624-2121. Students are encouraged to report any problems with fire protection systems to the Department of Housing for residence halls and fraternity houses, and to the Office of Property Management for residential apartment buildings.

Comprehensive guidelines for fire safety and fire prevention including those for emergency evacuation, electrical appliances, and no smoking or open flames can be found in the University’s Safety Manual at www.ehs.pitt.edu/workplace in the following sections: Fire and Emergency Evacuation Procedures, Fire Safety and Prevention, and Residence Hall Safety.

Students are required to read and comply with the Student Code of Conduct, residential handbook, and/or their housing contract, which includes health and safety inspections and all other rules and guidelines for residential buildings. Periodic room inspections are performed and include, but are not limited to, a visual examination of electrical cords/power strips, smoke detectors, sprinkler heads, damages, etc. In addition, each room is examined for the presence of prohibited items (e.g., sources of open flame, such as candles; unapproved extension cords; halogen lamps; cooking appliances in non-kitchen areas; lofted furniture) or prohibited activity (e.g., smoking in the room; tampering with life safety equipment; possession of pets). The inspections also include a general assessment of trash and cleanliness of the room. Violations are recorded on room inspection reports and the residence director provides notification of sanctions.

Disabled students, or any student not capable of complying with the University Emergency Evacuation Plan, should notify the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (412-624-9505) to develop an individual emergency evacuation plan.

Fire Statistics Report (PDF)


University of Pittsburgh Police EMERGENCIES 4-2121
or Noncampus Phone

General Assistance 4-4040
or 412-624-4040

Office of Sexual Harassment
and Assault Response
and Education (SHARE)


Student Health Service

University Counseling Center

Student Conduct

Environmental Health and Safety

412-648-CALL (2255)

Panther Central


(Off Campus)

City of Pittsburgh
Police, Fire, Ambulance

Pittsburgh Action Against Rape
24-hour hotline

Center for Victims
24-hour Crisis Hotline

Pennsylvania Department
of Public Welfare ChildLine
for abuse reporting


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