Fire Safety

Fire Safety Policy

The potential danger posed to the residence community by fire is very severe. Consequently, any resident identified as intentionally, or through negligence, igniting any facility, furnishings, equipment or substance within the residence halls or tampering with fire safety equipment will be subject to applicable University and/or civil and criminal actions and may be immediately vacated from the premises.

Tampering includes de-activating a smoke alarm or intentionally causing a detector to activate, discharging fire extinguishers, or intentionally activating any portion of the sprinkler system. Students are prohibited from hanging any items on the sprinkler equipment. This may result in the permanent loss of any future privileges to student housing and/or suspension and expulsion from the university. SPACE HEATERS ARE STRICTLY PROHIBITED IN THE RESIDENCE HALLS. Residents and their guests must evacuate the building each time the fire alarm is activated.

Fire Safety Information

The Department of Public Safety and the Office of Residence Life and Housing considers fire safety education as a priority and makes efforts to educate all members of the University community of the fire safety and evacuation procedures who visit our residence halls. Students, faculty, staff, administrators, and visitors to our campus are expected to observe appropriate fire safety practices by exercising prudence and adhering to the procedures and regulations established. 
Cheyney University considers fire safety as everyone’s business to decrease the number of unsafe acts and incidents. It is a serious violation of this policy, as well as a significant safety hazard to fail to evacuate the building when the fire alarm is activated. It is the right and responsibility of every member of the University community who have knowledge to report all unsafe acts and fire safety violations.  


According to the United States Fire Administration, each year, more than 4,000 Americans die in fires and another 20,000 are injured.

At Cheyney University, fire drills are conducted by the Assistant Director of each residence hall monthly. These drills are designed to insure that occupants and their guests are familiar with proper fire safety evacuation guidelines, the exits in the buildings, and the designated meeting places outside the buildings so that, in the event of an actual emergency, a swift and orderly evacuation takes place. 


Having a sound escape plan will greatly reduce death and injury resulting from fire.


 Having an escape plan is essential to increasing the chances of survival and decreasing injuries as every second counts. It is each person’s responsibility whether student, faculty, staff, or visitor to be familiar with the exits in each residence hall that they occupy and/or visit and have a plan to get out in the event of an emergency.    

Fires double in size every 30 seconds!

 Residence Hall Fire Safety

Each residence hall room is equipped with a smoke detector and all of the residence halls are equipped with a sprinkler system. Students should not place any decorations or coverings of any kind over this device.  If you hear a smoke detector alarm going off, contact the residence hall staff and Public Safety immediately.

The hallways and common areas are equipped in a similar fashion. Monthly fire drills are conducted by the Residence Life and Housing staff with the assistance of Public Safety. Fire safety equipment can be the saving factor of a life and death situation. All fire safety equipment (fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, fire alarm pull stations and alarm panels, etc.) should not be tampered with and abused.


 Candles, incense, cooking devices (i.e. hot plates, George Foremen grills, space heaters, etc) are not permitted for safety reasons. It's important that all students review what is and is not allowed in the residence hall as most of these decisions are made for safety reasons. All residents and their visitors are expected to abide by all safety guidelines and procedures. Every individual living in a residential community must play their role when it comes to fire safety and preventing unsafe situations.As a member of the University community students should report all fire safety concerns and hazardous situation to a staff member and/or Public Safety. In addition, all members of the residential community should familiarize themselves with the Residence Hall Evacuation Plans for their assigned residence hall. Moreover, it is highly encouraged that all residential students become familiar with the evacuation plans of all residence halls in case they choose to visit. The following  are steps that Cheyney University has implemented to assure decreased incidents of unsafe acts and fires:

  1. The Residence Life and Housing staff participates in basic fire safety regulations,  policies, procedures, and protocol training each year during the month of August.
  2. Monthly Health and Safety Inspections are conducted of student rooms to insure fire safety compliance with University policies.
  3. The Residence Life and Housing staff submit nightly and weekly reports of any fire and safety concern upon completing their duty rounds.
  4. Fire Safety and Fire Drill protocol and procedures are discussed during the floor and hall meetings with residents upon their arrival.

Individuals with Disabilities and Fire Safety

Students with disabilities that may hamper their evacuation during emergency situations, should inform a Residence Life and Housing staff member of their disability and needs as soon as they move in to the residence halls. This will insure that the Assistant Director, Public Safety, and the Office of Residence life and Housing are aware should an emergency evacuation be needed. These individuals can also communicate with emergency personnel that a resident requires assistance.
In the event of a fire or other emergencies that requires the evacuation of the building, individuals with disabilities on the upper floors of the residence halls should move to the stairwells and remain there until the emergency personnel arrives to assist in evacuation.  Do not attempt to use the elevators.

The following are some helpful guidelines for residential living which should aid you in the event that you must exit due to an emergency:

  • Remain Calm! Participating in scheduled fire drills increases your confidence in the event of an actual emergency.
  • Be familiar with your building’s posted emergency escape plans. If you have visitors, make sure they are aware of the exit routes as well. Your guests are your responsibility!
  • Be sure you know at least two ways to exit your building. Do not expect your primary exit to be available during an emergency.
  • Be aware of any special situations which are present in your building that may slow your escape.
  • Leave immediately! Do not spend time gathering personal belongings. If there is time, quickly shut off your computer, grab your coat, and exit swiftly.
  •  If possible and your safety is not at risk, assist individuals with disabilities to exit as well.
  • Never open doors that are hot to the touch. If you cannot exit due to smoke or heat, for suite style housing and/or if you are able, wet towels and place them under your door and move to a window.
  • Do what you can to attract attention so that fire department personnel can get to you quickly and assist you in your escape if needed.
  • Close your room door as you exit.
  • Smoke rises. If you encounter smoke, crawl low!
  • Never use elevators during an emergency!
  • Never re-enter the building once you have exited!
  • If you discover smoke or fire, sound the nearest fire alarm and exit the building. Once outside, call Public Safety at (610) 399-2405 and report the emergency.
  • Once outside, remain at your meeting location until told otherwise by your Facility Administrator or a Public Safety official. It is important that accurate attendance is taken so that we can determine if anyone is left in the building.

The most important aspect of getting out safely is being prepared. Please take the time to become familiar with the procedures outlined above so that in the event of an emergency, you are prepared to GET OUT SAFELY! Specific fire evacuation informtion for each residence hall can be viewed on this website listed under "Fire Drill Evacuation Plans".