Fire and Life Safety Devices in the Residence Halls, Student Responsibilities, Procedures and Policy

Haverford College is committed to the safety and security of its students in residence.  Installed and maintained in the residence halls are the following fire and life safety devices:  Carbon Monoxide Detectors, Emergency Exits and Exit Signs, Fire Extinguishers, Smoke Detectors and Sprinklers.

Every student living in the residence halls and their guests play an important role in preventing fires and responding appropriately to life safety emergencies and each assumes the responsibility of complying with fire and life safety policies, procedures, and guidelines as put forth in the Haverford College Students’ Guide and all Fire and Life Safety Device Policies.

All students are also expected to abide by all established and communicated fire safety procedures including the participation in fire alarm or evacuation drills.  When the building fire alarm system activates, for any reason – drill or otherwise, all students and occupants of the building are required to immediately leave the building and not return until authorized to do so.  It is prohibited to tamper with or render ineffective any fire or life safety device such as fire extinguishers, alarm systems and conduits, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, sprinkler heads, strobes, devices, door closure hinges, and exit signs.  Students should never cover, attach to, or hang anything from these fire and life safety devices.

Informational statement on smoke detectors:

  • Located in each student’s room, HCA living rooms and bedrooms are single station smoke detectors.  Single station means the smoke detector only protects the area in which it is located. If the detector activates, it will only sound in that area. It will not sound the building’s main fire alarm system. The smoke detectors purchased by the College are high quality and very reliable.
  • Smoke detectors activate by detecting the particulates in smoke and it takes more than a small amount of smoke to activate a detector. They should not activate with the amount of smoke produced by one or two cigarettes or by normal cooking activities. You can prevent accidental activations by not smoking in close proximity to the detector and keeping the room slightly ventilated.
  • Should the smoke detector be activated as the result of smoke caused by overcooking food or heavy cigarette smoke, the detector can be reset by opening a window for ventilation and fanning the area around the detectors to dilute the smoke. Once the smoke clears, the detector will reset itself.
  • If you suspect the smoke detector is not operating properly or is sounding the low battery alert (an intermittent beep) please contact Campus Safety immediately (610-896-1111). Replacement smoke detectors or batteries are available 24 hours a day – 7 days a week.  Questions regarding fire safety or the operations of the fire alarm or sprinkler systems can be directed to Mark Sweeney (610-896-1111).

Violations of these and related College policies and procedures are treated with the highest priority and carry serious consequences.  Anyone found to have tampered with or otherwise rendered ineffective any smoke detector or other fire/life safety equipment – including the defacement of hallway exit signs, falsely activating fire alarms, discharging fire extinguishers, and activating fire suppression/sprinkler systems – in the residence halls, houses, and apartments WILL face the loss of their campus housing privileges.  Depending on the circumstances, further action may be taken.

There will be no punitive action if a student calls to report an accidentally damaged or nonworking alarm or other fire or life safety device or even one which you suspect might not be working properly.  In the case of accidental damage the student responsible will, however, be asked to pay the cost of the necessary repairs.  Students are to call Campus Safety (601-896-1111) who will respond immediately 24/7 to repair smoke alarms. If you have any questions about any aspect of dorm fire safety equipment, please do not hesitate to contact Mark Sweeney ( or 610-896-1111), the College’s Safety Coordinator.

Please also read the Campus Safety Policies.

Last modified: August 28, 2015