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.
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 inceptionm 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 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.
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 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.
Starting with the 2017-18 school year, Christmas and other decorative lighting is permitted in dormitories year-round. Only UL-approved miniature 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.
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.
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
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.
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
All Facilities workers
Volunteers for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.
We also provide hands-on extinguisher training at the student and staff health events – Healthapalooza and the Employee Health Fair.
Our Fire Safety Officers (FSOs) are available at Orientation to speak directly to parents of first year students, and Fire Safety is included as part of the “SAFE” Presentation to the Freshman Class.
Our FSOs have provided fire emergency simulation for School of Nursing students and faculty. FSOs also conduct drills for all overnight sports and summer camps.