The Boston College facilities rest in the jurisdiction of several fire departments. Through our Fire Safety Office we interact with all Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs).
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 employs three Fire Safety Officers. Each officer brings decades of experience to manage the University's fire safety efforts. Officers are charged with conducting fire safety inspections, educating residents and employees about fire safety and extinguisher use, working with Facilities to manage fire suppression systems, 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 has developed a number of policies since its inception, from banning smoking in residence halls in 2003 to banning hoverboards on campus in 2016.
Other programs that this committee has initiated include random health and safety residence hall 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 circuit breakers or surge protectors in residential buildings. These are the only power cords with built-in intelligence to prevent cord fires, ground faults, or surges.
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.
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 Carney Hall Suite 400. This application 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.
Decorative Lighting and Holiday Decorations
Decorative lighting is permitted in dormitories year-round. However, only UL-approved miniature LED lights are allowed, and no more than two strands of lights may be used in a room. Lights may be lit only while students are present in their rooms. Contact with drapes, bedding, or other combustibles must be avoided.
Only small holiday decorations (approximately 1 foot x 1 foot) are 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.
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 the Fire Safety Office.
Emergency Evacuation Plans
Emergency Evacuation Plans (EEPs) have been prepared for most buildings on campus. If you need a PDF of your EEP, contact the Fire Safety Office at extension 2-0361.
Fire Safety Initiatives
Boston College has an active Fire Safety program with strong training and outreach components. In addition to fire drills each semester and random room inspections with Residential Life, our Fire Safety Officers provide Fire Safety Training, including hands-on fire extinguisher training to:
- Health Services personnel
- Campus School staff
- Incoming science lab workers
- Resident Directors and Resident Assistants
- Library personnel
- All Facilities workers
- Volunteers for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.
We can also provide hands-on extinguisher training at student and staff events.