The Department of Environmental Health and Safety, along with the UMPD and Housing and Residence Life, oversees fire safety at UMass Amherst with a full-time staff of fire prevention professionals. The staff inspects buildings, tests and recharges fire extinguishers, investigates fires and fire alarms, checks fire alarm systems, tests laboratory safety showers, and insures that all fire hydrants, fire pumps, standpipes, and sprinkler systems are in good working order. They also work with residence hall staff to run programs for the campus community on fire safety, evacuation, and reporting.
Fire safety staff and residence hall staff regularly conduct fire drills. For everyone’s safety, students must take these drills seriously and evacuate whenever a fire alarm sounds. The residence hall staff runs programs with students to teach the safe and proper ways to exit buildings. Students should remember to lock their doors when they leave, as thefts during fire alarms are a common problem. Residents who do not leave during a fire alarm are subject to Housing and Residence Life sanctions and possible legal action.
Students should identify the closest fire exit as soon as they move in (wall plaques in the halls show the safest route).