2013 Annual Fire Safety Report

You can also view/print this report at: Fire Safety Report (.pdf file)

This report has been prepared to comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). The Daily Fire Log, as well as a Daily Crime Log, are available for public inspection at the Public Safety Office.

Fire Statistics

Location
Total Fires
Fire #
Date
Time
Cause of Fire
Injuries Treated
Deaths
Property Damaged
Hoyme Hall
1
1
8/6/2006
10:07 pm
pizza box inside oven
0
0
0
Aaker House
1
1
9/11/2006
9:40 am
toast in toaster–toaster damaged
0
0
20
Ytterboe Hall
1
1
2/1/2007
7:45 pm
microwave wiring burned
0
0
150
Ellingson Hall
1
1
6/4/2008
8:00 pm
burned food on
kitchen stove
0
0
0
Larson Hall
1
1
12/2/2008
7:11 pm
cigarette in room trash can
0
0
50
Rand Hall
1
1
1/6/2010
7:50 pm
small fire in oven
0
0
0
Larson Hall
1
1
7/16/2012
8:44 pm
elevator motor overheated
0
0
300
Hoyme Hall
1
1
10/3/2013
7:52 pm
burnt popcorn in microwave
0
0
0

 

Residential Fire Safety Systems and Drills

The following information details the fire safety systems in each residence hall or honor house in which students reside at St. Olaf College.  At this time, there are no plans to expand fire safety measures based on campus building materials used in construction and the existing monitoring/suppression devices.

Residence Halls
Fire Alarm Monitoring
Partial Sprinkler System
Full Sprinkler System
Smoke Detection
Fire Extinguishers
Evacuation Plans Posted
Fire Drills Each Year
Ellingson Hall
X
X
X
X
X
2
Hilleboe Hall
X
X
X
X
2
Hoyme Hall
X
X
X
X
X
2
Kildahl Hall
X
X
X
X
2
Kittelsby Hall
X
X
X
X
2
Larson Hall
X
X
X
X
2
Mellby Hall
X
X
X
X
2
Mohn Hall
X
X
X
X
2
Rand Hall
X
X
X
X
2
Thorson Hall
X
X
X
X
2
Ytterboe Hall
X
X
X
X
X
2

 

Honor Houses
Fire Alarm Monitoring
Partial Sprinkler System
Full Sprinkler System
Smoke Detection
Fire Extinguishers
Evacuation Plans Posted
Fire Drills Each Year
Aaker House
X
X
X
0
Felland House
X
X
X
0
Forest Inn
X
X
X
0
Flaten House
X
X
X
0
Haldorson House
X
X
X
0
Holstad House
X
X
X
0
Huggenvik House
X
X
X
0
Johnson House
X
X
X
0
Lee House
X
X
X
0
Lincoln Inn
X
X
X
0
Lincoln Manor
X
X
X
0
Mohn House
X
X
X
0
Rose House
X
X
X
0
Schmidt House
X
X
X
0
St. John’s House
X
X
X
0
Swanson House
X
X
X
0
Thompson House
X
X
X
0
Ytterboe House
X
X
X
0

Fire drills are conducted semi-annually in all residence halls on campus and are monitored by the residence life staff and public safety.  The purpose of these drills is to prepare building occupants for an organized evacuation in case of fire or other emergency.

Residential Evacuation Procedures
All faculty, staff and students should learn the evacuation routes and stairwell locations for all campus buildings they frequently occupy.  Evacuation maps and information are posted inside each residence hall student room on campus.  During an evacuation for fire or another emergency, occupants are encouraged to take personal belongings (purse, wallet, Ole card, cell phone, etc.) and follow the evacuation procedures for their building (close your door, proceed to the nearest exit and use the stairs, not the elevators). Once you have evacuated, seek shelter in the nearest campus building.  If public safety, law enforcement or fire department personnel are on the scene, follow their directions.

Residential Fire Safety Policies
Because of fire safety concerns, the following guidelines are to be followed. Electrical appliances are permitted in student rooms provided their use does not disturb other residents and that its state of repair is not a fire hazard.  Safety, insurance, and health code standards require certain restrictions be placed on the use of some electrical appliances in the halls.  Appliances with an open coil or burner, air conditioners, hot plates, grills, skillets, halogen lamps, gas appliances, microwave ovens, toasters, toaster ovens and ceiling fans are not allowed in student rooms.  Only heat producing electrical appliances that are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved and have enclosed heating elements (e.g. electric coffee pots, electric blankets, etc.) are permitted in student rooms.  Kitchen cooking must be confined to designated cooking areas.  No student owned microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens or hot plates are allowed in residence hall rooms.  All electrical appliances brought to the campus by students are subject to inspection and approval by the college.

The safety of every student is of paramount importance to the college. As such, residence halls have been equipped with various emergency systems and equipment to help ensure student safety. As such, the tampering with and/or misuse of fire and safety equipment, including fire alarms, fire doors, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, exit signs, heat sensors, and any other safety equipment, poses a serious threat to life and property and will result in a $500 fine. The starting of any fire on college property without written authorization is strictly prohibited. St. Olaf reserves the right to take disciplinary action through the appropriate college channels and/or local law enforcement agencies.

For safety purposes, observe the following:

  • Due to the significant risk of fire, the burning of candles or other open flames (this includes incense) are not permitted in residence hall rooms. With continuous monitoring, and with the permission of the area coordinator, lit candles are permitted in public areas for programs, dinners and other special events.
  • No materials may be draped or affixed overhead (i.e. on the ceiling or over light bulbs).
  • Flammable substances, such as gasoline and cleaning fluids, are not to be used or stored in college residences.
  • No storage of flammable materials, such as wood (including sheets of wood), empty boxes, excessive amounts of paper or cardboard.
  • Do not overload the electrical outlets. The college recommends only one appliance per outlet. Also, multiple outlet ‘octopus’ plugs are not allowed, as they can be a fire hazard.
  • If an extension cord is needed, use a heavy duty extension cord, preferably one equipped with a circuit breaker. Use them in a manner that will not create a fire hazard (i.e. running them under carpet, overloading outlets, etc.).
  • Splicing of electrical wires or removal of any outlet plates or light switches is prohibited.
  • All holiday decorations (Christmas greenery) must be fireproofed. A fireproofing service is provided by Facilities. All greenery should be taken to Facilities who will fireproof the greenery and deliver it to the student’s room within 24 hours. All greenery should be tagged, indicating that it has been officially fireproofed.
  • Fire doors are to remain closed at all times. Residents of the corridor/hall are responsible for patrolling.
  • ‘Pennying in’ residents is strictly prohibited, as it prevents residents from evacuating in the event of an emergency. Violations of this policy are subject to disciplinary action.
  • Electrical appliances should not be left unattended. Once an appliance has been used, be sure to unplug it.
  • Refrigerators may not be placed in closets. There must be proper circulation behind the unit to allow the heat that is displaced to be circulated.
  • Items stored too close to heating units are extremely dangerous. Keep a three-foot clearing.  Waste should be disposed as soon as possible.
  • The hallways must be kept free of debris and personal items. Students assume financial responsibility for having these items removed after the first week of classes.
  • At the beginning of each break, the residence hall staff enters each room to check for potential fire hazards, electrical problems, as well as safety and energy concerns. With decreased occupancy during breaks, there is greater potential for fires to remain undetected until severe damage has occurred.
  • Smoking is not permitted in the residence halls or honor houses.  Students who wish to smoke must do so outside at least 10 feet away from the building.

Reporting Fires and Fire Alarms on Campus
Whenever a smoke detector or fire alarm system activates, persons at the affected location should immediately call Public Safety @ 3666 and report the incident.  If heavy smoke or a fire is present, immediately call 9-911 and report the fire.  Upon arrival, the Public Safety officers will confirm the report, assess the situation and determine if additional resources are necessary to resolve the situation. Additional resources may include other college employees/departments or external agencies such as the Northfield Police, the Northfield Fire Department or Northfield Emergency Medical Services.  If a member of the St. Olaf community finds evidence of a fire that has been extinguished and is not sure whether Public Safety has already responded, the community member should immediately notify Public Safety to investigate the situation and document the incident.

Emergency Response and Training
All buildings are equipped with a fire alarm system and are centrally monitored at the Facilities Building.  Facilities engineers are in direct radio communication with public safety staff and can be dispatched to the location should any fire alarm activate in a campus building.  Every Public Safety Department vehicle is equipped with a water fire extinguisher and a chemical fire extinguisher.  Public Safety officers are not trained fire fighters but have received training in fire extinguisher use.  St. Olaf College relies on the Northfield Fire Department, a volunteer fire department located approximately three minutes from campus, for professional fire suppression services.

Each year, residence life staff and public safety officers complete fire alarm orientation training to enhance their understanding of the fire alarm systems in each campus building.  The majority of fire alarms at St. Olaf College are activated by burned food in residence hall kitchens.  Rarely is there any fire associated with the activation of a fire alarm on campus since smoke will activate the alarm system first.

Fire Log
A fire log is maintained by Public Safety and is available for public inspection upon request. This log contains information regarding all fires on campus including the nature of the fire, the date and time the fire occurred and the general location of the fire for the most recent sixty days.  Upon request, information regarding fires on campus older than sixty days will be made available within two business days.

Community Fire Safety Education
If you discover a fire:

  • Activate the fire alarm system and call 9-911 from any campus phone to report the fire
  • Evacuate the building using the stairs, closing doors and windows behind you
  • DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS
  • Provide evacuation assistance to those with special needs if possible
  • Move to a safe location following the directions of emergency response personnel
  • DO NOT re-enter the building until the fire department authorizes re-entry

If caught in smoke:

  • Do not breathe in the smoke
  • Breathe shallow through your nose and use a shirt or towel to breathe through if possible
  • Drop to your hands and knees and crawl to the nearest safe exit

If trapped in a building:

  • Close all doors and windows to the room
  • Place cloth material under the door to prevent smoke from entering
  • Call for help using a phone or cell phone.
  • Attempt to signal people outside of the building through the window

Using a fire extinguisher:

  • Report the fire first by calling 3666
  • Use a fire extinguisher ONLY if you have been trained to do so
  • If you have a any doubt of your ability to fight the fire, exit immediately
  • If you decide to use a fire extinguisher, place yourself between the fire and an exit
  • To use the fire extinguisher, follow the PASS method:

Pull the pin to break the tamper seal
Aim low, pointing the nozzle at the base of the fire
Squeeze the handle to release the extinguisher agent
Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until the fire is out.
** If the fire re-ignites, repeat the steps above.

Crime Statistics
In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Clery Act, St. Olaf College has posted the Clery Act on the Public Safety website for public review.  The Clery Act discusses college security policies, crime prevention information, crime statistics and provides helpful information to create a safe campus.  A Daily Crime Log listing all crimes that occur on campus is maintained in the Public Safety office and is available for public review during normal business hours.