Fire safety is a shared responsibility at Hamilton College. Departments including Campus Safety, Facilities Management, Residential Life and Environmental Protection & Safety have important leadership responsibilities. Students, employees and visitors should be aware of fire safety guidelines as well.

Awareness & Training

Fire safety awareness and training is an essential element for all students living in Hamilton residential facilities, and is typically provided by Residential Life and Campus Safety during freshman orientation. Environmental Protection & Safety also provides fire safety training programs (including fire extinguisher training) to employees in departments with certain regulatory obligations, or for other risk management purposes.  To facilitate fire safety awareness across all campus facilities, we now have building-by-building fire safety plans that provide a plethora of information, including fire safety system capabilities, Building Coordinators, egress paths, emergency equipment, and muster/assembly points.  All who live and work at Hamilton should become familiar with the fire safety plans for the buildings they frequent, and integrate fire safety principles into both their academic and daily lives.

Fire Safety Plans

Regulatory Compliance & the NYS OFPC

Fire safety regulatory compliance includes the tireless “behind the scenes” efforts of Facilities Management, and the annual NYS Office of Fire Prevention & Control (OFPC) inspections exhaustively verify Hamilton’s compliance program each fall. However, the OFPC inspection program is just as concerned with day-to-day behaviors that either defeat installed fire safety systems, or introduce uncontrolled hazards into our facilities. The three links below provide regulatory or policy guidance regarding how to avoid OFPC fire safety violations in the first place.

Fire & Other Emergency Preparedness Drills

In accordance with NYS law, Hamilton must perform four fire drills per year in all student residential facilities, and 3 fire drills per year in all other occupied/non-residential facilities.  Since various legal criteria apply regarding the conduct of fire drills, Campus Safety as a general rule will not announce the time of or the location where fire drills are to be performed.  And please always react to a fire alarm signal as if it’s the “real thing”, even if you know it’s only a fire drill.

As a part of the College’s broader Emergency Planning efforts, Hamilton will also conduct at least one annual “shelter-in-place” drill and one or more table-top/live action drills with local external emergency response organizations.

Other Fire Safety Information

Kerry Rose Fire Sprinkler Notification Act

In accordance with this NYS law, and by way of the both the Fire Safety Plans noted above or Campus Safety’s Annual Safety, Security and Fire Safety Report, Hamilton College hereby notifies all students living in on-campus housing that 100% of its residential facilities are equipped with fire sprinkler systems.  Additionally, since many other non-residential facilities are also equipped with fire sprinklers, students/employees may heighten their awareness of Hamilton’s fire safety capabilities through respective fire safety plan links.

For certain other off-campus residential facilities, the following fire sprinkler notification information applies:

  • New York City Program (Ocean Residences):
    • Facility has partial fire sprinklers covering dwelling units, hallways, refuse rooms, the lobby and basement, but excludes all stairwells.
  • Washington DC Program (Calvert Woodley Apartments):
    • Facility has partial fire sprinklers limited to public spaces only.
Tent, Canopy and Other Temporary Membrane Structure Procedures

The erection/use of tents, canopies and other temporary membrane structures are also regulated by the NYS fire code.  Please see the Guidelines For Tents/Canopies On Campus for more information.

Smoking & Vaping

By College policy and the New York State Clean Indoor Air Act, smoking and vaping is prohibited in all College buildings, entranceways and College owned/leased vehicles.  As a further courtesy, smokers/vapers should stay at least 25 feet away from all buildings to protect non-smokers from unwanted exposure to environmental tobacco smoke/vapors. 


Brian Hansen

Director of Environmental Protection, Safety and Sustainability

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