Skip to Content

Fire Safety

The overall goal of the University of Virginia'a Fire Safety Program is the protection of life and property at the University of Virginia (UVa). The Fire Safety Program at UVa strives to identify and minimize those conditions and/or actions that may encourage fires to start and spread. Through training programs, University staff, faculty, and students are educated on fire safe practices. The Fire Safety Program's reponsibilites and services include the following:

  1. UVa Policy: Open Burn and Open Flame Operations (Policy ID: SEC-032)
  2. UVa Policy: Fireworks Display (Policy ID: SEC-018)
  3. UVa Policy: Tent Use on University Property (Policy ID: SEC-013)
    • Tent Permiting Directions (Word or PDF).
    • Tent Permiting Application (G.S. Form E&B CO-13.3) (Word or PDF).
  4. Responding to fire/building code questions.
  5. Serving as the primary contact State Fire Marshal's Office.
  6. Serving as the primary contact to Charlottesville Fire Department.
  7. Conducting fire safety inspections of UVa owned Buildings.
  8. Preparing and implementing evacuation plans for University buildings.
  9. Developing and conducting fire safety training programs.
  10. Maintaining a database of fire safety compliance and incident information.

Download the UVa Fire Safety Brochure here.

Fire Prevention and Emergency Plans Training

An employee fire safety training program focusing basic fire safety procedures and the evacuation plan specifically developed by EHS for the building where they work. Employees will be taught how to recognize and prevent fire hazards, and what actions they are to undertake in the event of a fire or other emergency. Typically this program also includes classroom and hands-on training in the proper use of fire extinguishers. The course can be given to departments to assist in implementing their building-specific fire safety plan. (Time: 1 hour with fire extinguisher training, Maximum class size: 40 persons with fire extinguisher training)

Questions regarding Fire Prevention and Emergency Plans Training should be directed to Gerald Drumheller at gdd7h@virginia.edu or 434-982-4911.

Fire Safety Program Messages and Alerts

Halogen Lights

The Consumer Products Safety Commission has released a safety alert related to halogen torchier floor lamps. Due to fire safety concerns, the UL Listing for some of these lamps was pulled. Lamps without wire guards over the lamps have been known to cause fires including here at UVa. As a result, halogen lamps without bulb guards are now prohibited in UVa buildings.

  • FOR DEPARTMENTS: A retrofit grill can be obtained free from stores where they were purchased or from EHS (434-982-4911 or fire-safety@virginia.edu).
  • FOR STUDENTS IN UVa HOUSING: The UVa Housing Office has banned the use of ALL halogen floor lamps (with or without grills) in UVa housing.
Extension Cords

The use of light weight extension cords is prohibited at UVa. By Fire Code, extension cords cannot be used as permanent wiring. We will allow the use of power strips and surge protectors for use with equipment such as computers and other electronic equipment. Heavy weight extension cords can be used on a temporary basis (less than a day).

Refrigerators for Chemical Storage

The explosion that occurred in the Chemistry building in 1998 was caused by the build-up of explosive vapors in a standard house hold refrigerator. The explosive vapors originated by chemicals improperly stored in the refrigerator. Chemicals that could give off explosive vapors are only to be stored in intrinsically safe refrigerators. We were lucky this time in that no one was hurt, damage, however, was extensive.

Attic Storage to Be Eliminated at UVa

Because of the risk of fire, it is now a UVa policy that storage in attic spaces is to be eliminated from all buildings unless the space meets the following criteria.

  • The space must have a fire detection system that is tied into systems control.
  • The space must have a sprinkler system installed.
  • The space must be secured and monitored to insure that only acceptable materials are stored.
  • The space must have the structrual integrity to serve as a storage area. This can only be determined by Facilities Management.
  • Written approval for use of the space for storage has been received by the facility coordinator from the Fire Safety Office. All of the above criteria must be met.
Hallway Utilization

The Fire Safety Office has begun a program to reclaim our hallways from those individuals that are using them for storage, offices, waiting rooms, and other nonapproved uses. Strictly speaking, the Fire Code states that hallways are to be kept clear of all materials. These are our only means of leaving a building in the event of a fire. Even a single chair can cause a major disruption in an evacuation, potentially causing the death or injury of the occupants whose evacuation is delayed. We will be asking you to remove all furniture and other materials from the halls of your building. Please help us by doing your part.