Fire Safety Report

Fire Safety Information

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 during the fall term.

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 should also report any evidence of an extinguished fire to the Pittsburgh campus emergency number at 412-624-2121. Students are encouraged to report any problems with fire protection systems to University of Pittsburgh Housing Services via Panther Central for residence halls, fraternity houses, and residential 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 in the following sections: Fire and Emergency Evacuation Procedures, Fire Safety and Prevention, and Residence Halls.

Campus Fire Reports

2016 Pittsburgh Campus Fire Safety Systems (PDF) »

2016 Pittsburgh Campus Annual Fire Statistics Report (PDF) »

Residence Hall Fire Safety

All 14 residence halls 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 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 on the Pittsburgh campus is equipped with automatic sprinkler protection.

On-campus Housing Fire Safety Systems 

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.

Residence Life officials educate students each year on emergency egress and shelter-in-place procedures specific to a particular building.

Evacuation Procedures

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

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.

Find more details about evacuation procedures.

Residence Hall Fire Drills

At least two unannounced emergency evacuation exercises are conducted for each on-campus residence hall, fraternity house, and residential apartment building during every school year. 

Prohibitions on Portable Electric Appliances, Smoking, and Open Flames

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 contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) at 412-624-9505 to develop an individual emergency evacuation plan. 

Plans for Future Improvements in Fire Safety

Fire safety officials have increased the number of Web-based fire safety programs to include video links and other forms of social media, such as Twitter. Future improvements will consist of continuing collaboration with residence life to develop additional programs, social media strategies, and other methods to increase awareness and help educate students on various aspects of fire safety.

Fire Safety Tips

  • If you suspect a fire, pull the nearest fire alarm box in the corridor or near an exit door.
  • When you hear the building’s fire alarm, evacuate the building immediately.
  • Evacuate any building on campus by following EXIT signs. Do not use elevators during emergencies unless directed by emergency response personnel.
  • If you are disabled, call EH&S at 412-624-9505 to develop an individual emergency evacuation plan.