Texas Department of InsuranceState Fire Marshall’s Office Sixth Report on State University Fire Safety January 2002
Graduate Alive! • State Appropriations Act for 2002-03, Article III, • § 36, Fire Safety Issues at State Universities • The State Fire Marshal’s University Inspection Program • Prior: Occupied, residential housing -- inspected > 1,500 buildings • Current focus: All university buildings • New Initiatives: • Campus-Wide Inspections • Off-Campus Inspections (remote sites, rental facilities, etc.) • Inspection Verification Program • Fire Safety Program Continuation & Maintenance
Fire Inspections • 48 University Campuses • 10 Adjunct Campuses & Remote Facilities
Serious Campus Fires - Fall 2001 • Angelo State University - San Angelo • TAMU - Commerce • TAMU - Commerce
TAMU - College Station • Last Inspected: • 11-Dec-2001 • 70 Buildings • Next Inspection • Anticipated within 6 months
Expected Focus • NFPA-101 • Life Safety Code • Protect People • Protect Property & Facilities • Protect Continuity of Operations • Applies to both: • New construction • Existing buildings
Expected Focus • NFPA-45 • Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals • Examples of Coverage • § 2, Flammable Liquid Storage in Laboratories • § 8, Compressed or Liquefied Gas Cylinders in Laboratory Work Areas
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 1. Remove all devices used to hold exit corridor doors open. If corridor doors need to be in the open position, automatic release devices connected to the building’s fire alarm system shall be installed. The automatic release devices will allow the doors to automatically close when the building fire alarm system is activated. • Building Proctors & Safety Officers should identify list of specific problems. Report deficiencies to TAMU Physical Plant.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 2. Remove panic hardware with latch hold-open devices and install fire exit hardware on fire exit doors. • Building Proctors & Safety Officers should identify list of specific problems. Report deficiencies to TAMU Physical Plant.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 3. Remove obstructions from paths of egress. • All employees are responsible for keeping hallways, walkways, evacuation & egress paths free, clear and unobstructed.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 4. Repair or replace inoperative emergency lighting. Conduct functional testing on emergency lighting systems and maintain written records of visual inspections and tests. • Report emergency lighting needs to TAMU Physical Plant.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 5. Ensure that fire alarm panels have current inspection tags. • Report out-of-date inspections to TAMU Fire Safety at 845-2132.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES • 6. Verify that the water supply line for the fire department standpipe is open. • Report any issues to TAMU Utilities.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 7. Maintain written records of standpipe hose system testing and inspections. • CS Fire Dept has requested TAMU to remove old hoses; they bring their own. • Report any hoses still in place to TAMU Fire Safety at 845-2132.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 8. Remove extension cords that are being used as permanent wiring, installing additional circuitry and outlets as needed by a licensed electrician. • TAMU safety rules, in compliance with the National Electrical Code, do not permit extension cords to be used for powering laboratory equipment. • Do not permanently affix/mount extension cords. • Use only ONE fuse protected power strip per extension cord, for computers and non-lab equipment. • Install permanent wiring in compliance with NEC.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 9. Install smoke detectors in the ductwork of ventilation units. • Report any concerns to TAMU Physical Plant.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 10. Close unattended fume hood sashes. • Ensure that fume hood sashes are kept closed at all times when not in use. • Cables, hoses & equipment should not be installed through the sash opening. • Hoods should not be used for storage.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 11. Label household refrigerators in laboratories with a tag stating, “Do not store flammable solvents in this refrigerator.” Purchase refrigerators approved for flammable materials as necessary. • Prudent Lab Practice does not permit food & drink consumables in laboratories. • All refrigerators in labs should be appropriately labeled. • Never store flammables in non-rated refrigerators. • Never store food in refrigerators with flammables or other hazardous materials.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 12. Seal penetrations in fire-rated walls. • Building Proctors should report all fire wall penetrations and other safety-related maintenance issues to Physical Plant. Report on Work Request form; flag as safety issue.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 13. Remove candles, incense, and other decorative open flame items from laboratories, offices and other areas. • All employees are responsible for improving fire safety.
COMMON FIRE SAFETY ISSUES 14. Ensure that compressed gas cylinders are properly secured, stored and handled in accord with the requirements of NFPA-45, Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories. • Faculty/PI, Department Safety Officers & Lab Managers