Nicholls State University
Annual Fire Safety Report
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 requires institutions maintaining on-campus student housing to issue an annual fire safety report. The Nicholls State University Environmental Health and Safety Department is responsible for creating the annual report. The Environmental Health and Safety Department maintains the campus housing fire log and reports fire statistics annually in conjunction with the “Annual Crime Report” that provides information in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Security Crime Statistics Act.
The information contained in this report includes; statistics regarding the number and causes of fire, number of fire injuries and deaths, and the value of property damage. The fire log entry, or an addition to an entry, shall be made within two business days of the receipt of information. The fire log for the most recent 60-day period shall be open to public inspection during normal business hours. Any portion of the log older than 60 days will be available within two business days of a request for public inspection. An electronic version of the Fire Logs and Annual Fire Report can be found at www.nicholls.edu/safety. Information on each on-campus student housing fire safety systems, the number of regular mandatory fire drills, fire safety policies, education programs, as well as plans for any needed fire safety improvements is included.
In 2014, Nicholls State University had two reportable fires. See table below:
|Year||Total # of Housing Facility Fires||Cause/Type||# of Injuries||# of Deaths||Property Damage in Dollars|
|2014||2||See Below||0||0||See Below|
|Date||Time||Cause/Type of Fire||# of Injuries Requiring Medical Treatment||# of Deaths Related to a Fire||Property Damage in Dollars||Case Number|
|Millet Hall||2/04||3:31 PM||Cooking/Microwave||0||0||0||NA|
|Ellender Hall||3/08||10:23 PM||Cooking/Cooking Oil||0||0||0||2014-00071|
No case opened – On 2/4/2014, the fire alarm at Millet Hall sounded causing an evacuation of the entire building. Nicholls State Police along with Environmental Safety & Health personnel responded to the scene. No emergency fire personnel were needed to respond. The investigation revealed that a student had tried to microwave a container of macaroni and cheese. It appears as if the student did not add the required water prior to cooking, resulting in the dish of macaroni and cheese to burn. Once the student opened up her room door to vent the smoke out, the general smoke alarm located in the hallway sounded the fire alarm. The smoke was quickly cleared from the area and alarm system reset.
Case # 2014-00071. On 3/8/2014, while students were attempting to fry fish in a small skillet, a small cooking oil fire ignited. Statements from the students were taken by University Police, where they stated that the fire began from some oil that had previously been spilled on the electric burner, and not from oil running over the small skillet. The Guardian Fire Suppressant system was activated immediately extinguishing the small fire. No injuries or damage was reported.
Fire: Any instance of open flame or other burning in a place not intended to contain the burning or in an uncontrolled manner.
Fire Drill: A supervised practice of a mandatory evacuation of a building for a fire.
Fire-related Injury: Any instance in which a person is injured as a result of a fire, including an injury sustained from a natural or accidental cause while involved in fire control, attempting rescue, or escaping from the dangers of the fire. The term person may include students, faculty, staff, visitors, firefighters, or any other individuals.
Fire-related Death: Any instance in which a person is killed as a result of a fire, including death resulting from a natural or accidental cause while involved in fire control, attempting rescue, or escaping from the dangers of a fire. Dies within 1 year of injuries sustained as a result of the fire.
Fire Safety System: Any mechanism or system related to the detection of a fire including-
- Sprinkler or other fire extinguishing systems;
- Fire detection devices;
- Stand-alone smoke alarms;
- Devices that alert one to the presence of a fire, such as horns, bells, or strobe lights;
- Smoke-control and reduction mechanisms;
- Fire doors and walls that reduce the spread of a fire.
Value of Property Damage: The estimated value of the loss of the structure and contents, in terms of the cost of replacement in like kind and quantity, including;
- Contents damaged by Fire;
- Related damages caused by smoke, water, and overhaul;
- Does not include indirect loss.
On-Campus Housing Facilities Fire Safety Systems:
All on-campus housing facilities constructed since 2004 have an active fire monitoring system. These systems include full sprinklers, smoke detectors, audible alarms and strobes. Apartment buildings have additional fire extinguishers located within each kitchen unit. Three of our housing facilities Ellender Hall (1967), and Calecas Hall (1972) and Babington Halls (1964) have upgraded fire alarm systems that include monitoring. The remaining facility (Family Housing) does not have an active monitoring system, but has all other fire safety systems consistent with campus housing units. (See Table)
Note: One off site campus location (Theodore Duhe’ Buildings) does not have campus housing facilities and is not included in the fire safety report.
Common kitchens include wet chemical extinguisher units for range tops and ovens, in conjunction with an automatic electrical current disconnect if activated.
Sprinkler, monitoring systems and fire pump systems are fully inspected and maintained by an outside certified contractor on an annual basis. Smoke alarms are inspected monthly by residence staff.
Listed in Table form are the Safety Systems in place at each of the University on-campus housing facilities. Facilities include residence halls and on-campus apartment housing.
|Residence Halls/Apt.||Sprinkeled||Smoke Alarms Single Station not monitored||Smoke Detectors Monitored by Building Fire Alarm System||Fire Extinguisher Devices||Fire Detection Devices||Audible Alarm||Strobe Alarm||Fire Doors||# of Fire Drills each Academic Year|
|South Babington Hall||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2|
|North Babington Hall||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2|
Mandatory fire drills were conducted at all on-campus housing facilities during 2014. These drills were supervised and were conducted between the hours of 2 PM and 5 PM while the majority of students were present. Fire Drills are conducted once a semester.
Fire Drills are coordinated by the Environmental Health and Safety and the Residence Life Departments. The local Fire Department is notified of all drills and is encouraged to participate and to conduct post drill review. Resident Assistants (RA’s) assists with orderly evacuation of the building, and direct students to the designated Emergency Assembly Area.
Fire Drills were conducted on the following dates during the past year.
|Spring Semester||Fall Semester||Residence Hall|
|2/05/14||9/04/14||** Brady Complex|
** Brady Complex (Former La Maison Du Bayou)
Procedure for Evacuation of On-Campus Housing
All students receive a Housing & Residence Life Handbook when they check into a Nicholls State University on-campus housing facility. Sections in the handbook are relevant to fire safety (see Fire Safety Policy). In the event a fire alarm sounds in an on-campus facility, all residents and guests are expected to immediately evacuate the building through the nearest safe exit. Each facility has a designated Emergency Assembly Area to which all residents and guests are expected to report. A staff member will gather roll-call information along with provided information regarding the whereabouts of other residents. This information will be provided quickly to the reporting authority on scene (Director of Safety, Director of Residence Life, University Police, or First Responder on Scene). All evacuated individuals are not permitted to return to the building until an official “all clear” is issued.
Fire Safety Policy
Each resident receives a copy of the Housing and Residence Life Handbook upon checking into a Nicholls State University on-campus housing facility. The following fire safety procedure is provided to all residents.
The possession or burning of candles and tea lights is strictly prohibited in residence halls and apartments, including during a loss of electrical power. If such items are found, the items will be confiscated and the resident(s) will be sanctioned.
Electrical appliances must be U.L. (Underwriters Laboratories) approved and must not cause a disruption to the electrical circuits or disturb other residents. Students may not use toasters, toaster ovens, stoves, grills, electric frying pans, hot plates, space heaters, or any appliance with open filaments or heating elements in residence hall rooms. All coffeepots and irons must have an automatic shut off feature. The use of halogen lamps and space heaters is prohibited in all residence halls and apartments. If such items are found, the items will be confiscated and the resident(s) may face disciplinary action. Microwaves and mini-refrigerators are provided in suites in Scholars Hall, Millet Hall, and Zeringue Hall. Students in Ellender, Calecas, and Babington may bring and use a small microwave oven and a small mini-refrigerator. The mini-refrigerator must be no larger than 4.5 cubic feet. The use of surge protectors is required. The overloading of electrical circuits is a dangerous fire hazard and therefore not allowed. Electrical appliances and equipment must be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The University reserves the right to deny use of any appliance and/or to confiscate any unapproved appliance or appliance used in a manner contrary to University standards.
Fire Alarm Evacuations:
When building alarms sound, residents and guests shall evacuate the building immediately and gather in the designated evacuation location. Upon arrival at the designated evacuation location, the residents must check in with the staff on site to confirm the resident’s presence and safety. Failure to immediately evacuate the building, gather in the designated location, and/or check in with staff on site will result in disciplinary action.
All occupants of a building (residents and guests) must immediately evacuate the building when the fire alarms sound. Students should report immediately to the designated gathering location for the building and report to the Residence Life Staff on site. Upon arrival at the designated evacuation location, the residents must check in with the staff on site to confirm the resident’s presence and safety. Failure to immediately evacuate the building, gather in the designated location, and/or check in with staff on site will result in disciplinary action. The setting of false fire alarms and/or the improper and/or unauthorized use of fire safety equipment (fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, exit signs, etc.) compromises the safety of all residents and is prohibited. Burning any substance and/or setting fires in the housing areas, including lighting candles and/or igniting flyers, decorations, or other posted materials, is not permitted under any circumstances. Violations of fire safety regulations will result in disciplinary action.
Fire Equipment, Alarms and Extinguishers:
In the event a fire extinguisher is discharged in response to a fire, the discharged extinguisher must be reported to the Residence Life Staff immediately to ensure the extinguisher is refilled. Pulling a false fire alarm is a felony. Tampering with fire protection equipment and systems may result in criminal charges in addition to University sanctions. The cost of re-charging discharged extinguishers and replacing damaged equipment maybe split among all residents if the individual(s) involved in discharging or damaging them are not identified. Residents found to be tampering or disabling smoke detectors will be subject to disciplinary action.
Fire exits may be used only in cases of emergency. Residents should not exit or enter through any exits other than the designated primary entrance(s) to the building. Use of fire exits at any other time will result in disciplinary action.
The possession or burning of incense, candles, fireworks in any form, ammunition, petroleum fuel, motorized vehicles, gasoline-fueled machinery, explosive devices or materials, sterno, kerosene or oil lamps, or any combustible materials are strictly prohibited in residence halls and apartments, even during a loss of electrical power. If such items are found, the items will be confiscated, and the resident(s) will face disciplinary action. For safety reasons, ceilings, air vents, and light fixtures may not be covered by paper or other materials such as wrapping paper, fishnets, parachutes, large flags, etc. Students are strongly encouraged to purchase renters insurance. Nicholls State accepts no liability for loss of residents’ personal property due to fire.
Acknowledging the clear scientific evidence that smoking—including the use of smokeless tobacco products and the effects of second-hand smoke—is injurious to health, and acknowledging the University’s desire to promote healthy living/working environments and a considerate community life, Nicholls State University is a Tobacco Free Campus. Violations may result in disciplinary action.
Fire Safety Education and Training
Staff Training in Fire Safety
Fire safety is a standard component of training for all Head Residents, Resident Assistants, and Student Assistants. This training includes:
- evacuation procedures to be followed when/if fire alarms sound
- instruction in all designated gathering points outside each residential facility
- procedures to report unaccounted residents to first responders
- documentation to be completed to provide record of procedures
- proper use of fire extinguishers, including hands-on experience (conducted by Environmental Health & Safety staff)
An evacuation plan and diagram is posted in each residence hall suite.
Each residential facility is required to review evacuation procedures at the first resident meeting each semester. A review is required at each monthly resident meeting throughout the semester.
Future Improvements in Fire Safety
Improvements in Fire Safety are as follows:
- Fire safety is a standard component of training for all Head Residents, Resident Assistants, and Student Assistants. This training is conducted prior to the start of a semester.
- Handouts are distributed to each resident of each facility and include a standard set of informational materials distributed to residents as they check into campus housing.
- It is important to incorporate the diverse needs of individuals when planning for evacuations. Faculty and Staff receive training on assisting persons with disabilities while evacuating during an emergency.
[i] Definitions from The Center For Campus Fire Safety