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

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 and at the beginning of all summer camps.

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Welding Permits

Prior to obtaining permits from either Boston or Newton for cutting, welding, or any other hot work on campus, 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 role of Safety Contacts is to share relevant information with the building occupants and Fire Safety.


Emergency Evacuation Plans (EEPs)  have been prepared for most buildings on campus.  Due to the termination of the MyFiles application, EHS will be locating these plans on a new server, and will contact Department Safety Contacts with access information.  In the meantime, if you need a PDF of your EEP, contact the Fire Safety Office at extension 2-0361.


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