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Fire Safety
Keeping yourself and the campus safe from fires is often a matter of following fire safety guidelines and practicing.

Fire AlarmsThe campus residence halls are equipped with a fire alarm system. In the Sandburg complex, for example, the fire alarm system sounds in the commons and each tower independently. Each suite has an alarm and strobe located in the hallway. Each room has a smoke detector. Sandburg Hall and Kenilworth Square Apartments are equipped with automatic sprinkler systems.

In off campus student housing, operating smoke detectors are required by city ordinance and state code. Make sure your house or apartment has a working smoke detector. If you don't have a smoke alarm, get one (landlords are required to provide smoke alarms for renters).

All UWM buildings have audible fire alarms and most have strobe flashers. The residence halls and most campus classroom building also have public address systems.

If a fire alarm sounds, evacuate immediately through the nearest safe exit. Close doors behind you. Do not use elevators. Do not return to the building until an all-clear is given by the University Police or Milwaukee Fire Department.. If you are in a building with a public address system, follow any directions given.

Fire Drills and TestsThe fire alarms in each building are tested weekly. In addition, the Department of University Safety and Assurances conducts annual fire drills in campus buildings.

Campus classroom have posted emergency evacuation procedures. These instructions also give the specific building addresses and room numbers to help anyone calling for assistance.

Residence Halls also regularly test the fire alarm systems.

Fire Prevention
  • Be aware of and report any violations of fire safety rules such as blocked exits, damaged smoke detectors or missing electrical panel covers.
  • In general, storing items in hallways and stairwells is prohibited in campus buildings and not a good idea off campus either.
  • Make sure exits are unobstructed.
  • Report vandalized or improperly maintained smoke alarms and fire alarm systems.
  • If you're off campus, change batteries in fire and smoke alarm detectors twice a year.
  • In residence halls, follow regulations on the use of extension cords and cooking appliances. Off campus, avoid overloading extension cords or electrical circuits.
  • Be aware of the evacuation plan in your campus building or residence hall, and have a plan for your off-campus house or apartment.
  • Dispose of smoking materials properly in off campus residences. Careless smoking is one of the leading causes of fires. Smoking is prohibited in all campus buildings.
  • Be aware that in cases of fire fatalities on or near college campuses, alcohol is often a factor.
  • Off campus, make sure candles, incense burners and other open flames are properly put out. Use of candles is prohibited in campus buildings.

What to Do If an Alarm OccursWhen an alarm sounds, vacate the building. Leave the building immediately via the closest stairwell and remain outside until an all clear is given. Stay away from the entrance areas to allow quick entry of fire fighting personnel. Never try to use the elevators during a fire emergency. Depending on what activates the fire alarm, the elevators may go to the first floor and remain there when the fire alarm is sounded. In addition, fires often cause power outages. In this case, elevators can get stuck between floors. Do not use elevators during a fire emergency unless accomplanie by a firefighter.

The Sandburg complex is equipped with an updated fire alarm system that sounds in the commons and each tower independently. Each suite has an alarm and strobe located in the hallway. Each room has a smoke detector. All of the Sandburg towers are equipped with automatic sprinklers.

University Housing is required to test the alarm system every week. Staff members will sound the alarm in each tower between 12:30 and 12:45 p.m. every Wednesday. The elevators may go to the first floor during this procedure.

Each semester, a full evacuation fire drill will be conducted. Failure to evacuate the building when requested (both during a drill or an actual fire) may result in contract action and/or fines issued by the UWM Police.

Purin rooms have smoke detectors and building hallways are equipped with an alarm system. The Resident Assistant (RA) will advise the residents as to the time each week the alarm system will be tested. Any time a resident hears the alarm other than during the weekly test time, they should immediately vacate the building via the nearest exit.