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Fire Safety

Environmental Health & Safety

The Boston College campus rests in the jurisdiction of two fire departments, Boston and Newton. As such, our programs are designed to meet the varied requirements of both.

To ensure compliance with federal, state, and local fire safety guidelines, as well as coordinate the education of the campus community on fire prevention, Boston College employes three Fire Safety Officers.  Each officer brings decades of experience to manage the University's firse safety efforts.  Officers are charges with conducting fire safety inspections, educating about fire safety and extinguisher use, managing fire extinguisher maintenance, and ensuring compliance with all applicable fire safety programs, regulations, and codes.

Residential Life Fire Safety Committee

This committee is a cooperative effort between Environmental Health & Safety, Residential Life, Facilities Services, Student Affairs, and the Boston College Police Department. The committee determined that smoking in dorm rooms was an unacceptable fire hazard and therefore implemented a smoking ban in all BC buildings effective September 2003. For complete information on the smoking policy, please refer to the Boston College Handbook.

Fire Shield surge protector

Other programs that this committee has initiated include random health and safety dorm room inspections, fire prevention guidelines, a list of items banned due to their threat of fire, confiscation of banned items, and sanctions for violations of University fire safety policy.

BC will allow the use of only surge protectors in residential buildings. These surge protectors are the only power cords with built-in intelligence to prevent cord fires, ground faults, or surges.

The committee and its members also sponsor Fire Safety Awareness Week in the fall.

For further information on safety policies, please refer to the Residential Life Website.

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Fire Drills

EHS works with the Residential Life staff, students, and the local fire departments to provide fire drills once each semester in each of the residence halls. These drills are conducted as early as possible at the beginning of each semester. Fire drills are also conducted on a quarterly basis at the Campus School and on a monthly basis at the Child Care Center.

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Welding Permits

Prior to obtaining permits for cutting, welding, or any other hot work on campus from the city of Boston or Newton, a contractor must obtain an Application for Cutting and Welding with Portable Gas or Arc Equipment from the Boston College Fire Safety Office, located at St. Clement's Hall, Room 213. This application form must be completed and signed in person at the Fire Safety Office. The cities of Boston and Newton will not grant a permit for this type of work without the application form from the BC Fire Safety Office.

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Holiday Decorations

Christmas or other decorative lighting is permitted only from October 15 until the end of Fall semester. Only UL-approved miniature lights are allowed. Lights may be lit only while students are present in their rooms. Contact with drapes, bedding, or other combustibles must be avoided.

Holiday decorations are not permitted on outside room doors or in hallways. Live trees or wreaths are not permitted within residence halls or in places of assembly at any time. Only certified fire-retardant artificial trees and wreaths are allowed.

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Boston College makes use of Safety Contacts in residence halls, academic, and administrative buildings.  These individuals are designated by their supervisors or by nature of their position (e.g. Resident Directors).  The purpose of Safety Contacts is to both gather and disseminate information relevant to fire safety, emergency response, and facilities impacts to building occupants.


Written Emergency Evacuation Plans (EEPs) that are compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) regulations have been developed for all facilities at Boston College. These plans are available in the office of each Saefty Contact for each department in academic buildings. Plans for residence halls are available from the Office of Residential Life. In residential buildings, floor plans showing a means of egress can be found on the exit doors from each residential space.

If you are a department head or a Building Safety Contact, you will have permission to enter the folder for your building. Only department heads and Building Safety Contacts have access to these folders. For academic buildings, departments have access to an EEP for just their floor, as well as an EEP for the entire building.

To obtain your building’s Emergency Evacuation Plan, click on the link below:

Emergency Evacuation Plans on MyFiles

You will be prompted to enter your BC username and password. You will then be taken to a page on MyFiles with the folder or folders to which you have access. Click on a folder. You will be taken to a page where you can either view the EEP or download it.

Alternatively, you can:

  1. Log onto your MyFiles account the normal way at
  2. Click on the “Go to” button.
  3. Type “bcfolders/ehsevacplans” into the prompt.
  4. Click “Go”, and you will be brought to the EEP folder or folders to which you have access.

All EEPs are in PDF format. Your computer will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. You can download it for free from BC at

Please inform EHS when contact information changes. Please email new contact information to Fire Safety Officer Tom Keough at

Any corrections or updates to the EEPs are also welcomed. Please print out the EEP, make necessary changes, and send the pages to Tom Keough for review.

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Fire Safety Awareness Week

Live Dorm Room Burn

Fire Safety Week at Boston College emphasizes fire prevention measures for all members of the Boston College community. 

The climax to a week of fire safety is a “Live Dorm Room Burn,” in which students can witness firsthand why many of the rules and regulations prohibiting certain items exist. A mockup of a residence hall room, complete with many fire safety “banned” items, is constructed on campus. With the assistance of the local fire department and other agencies, the room is set ablaze in order to demonstrate how rapidly a fire can spread and the need for preventative fire measures.

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