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Environmental Health and Safety

Fire and Life Safety Policy

It is the policy of Kansas State University to provide and maintain safe conditions and to follow the operating practices that safeguard all employees, students and visitors. The purpose of the Fire and Life Safety policy is to provide a safer environment for the University community through compliance with the State of Kansas Fire and Life Safety Codes as adopted by the Kansas State Fire Marshall's Office(KSFMO). The goals of the policy are: to encourage safe practices and living habits throughout the University, thereby reducing the threat of injury to faculty, students, and visitors; to reduce the risk to property; and to mitigate the effects in the event of a fire by reducing the incidence and degree of injuries and loss of property. To accomplish these goals, this policy defines the responsibility, means, methods and authority of individuals and University units that deal with Fire and Life safety Code compliance issues internally and with the Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office.

Operational Policy

  1. Compliance with the Fire and Life Safety Codes is the responsibility of all faculty,staff,students and visitors using University facilities. Enforcement of Fire and Life Safety Codes is the responsibility of administrators, department heads and supervisors in the areas and units in their jurisdiction. The University Fire Marshall's Office in Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for oversight of the Fire and Life Safety Codes.
  2. The University Fire Marshal's Office shall be responsible for assisting university personnel in developing programs designed to educate members of the university community on fire and life safety issues. The University Fire Marshal's Office shall have the authority to shut down an operation, cause events to be discontinued, or buildings be evacuated when, in their opinion, a severe danger to life, or injury, or loss of property may result if such action is not taken. The responsible authorities will be notified of the action taken or to be taken as soon as possible.
  3. Designated personnel of the University Fire Marshal's Office will conduct inspections throughout the year with the goal to improve safety for building occupants and to reduce the number of violations that the KSFMO identifies. The duties of the University Fire Marshal's Office include the following:
    1. To periodically inspect University facilities.
    2. To encourage and assist in fire prevention, life safety education and training efforts.
    3. To oversee the reviews of places for all new structures and remodeling of existing structures from the standpoint of fire protection, life safety and applicable code compliance.
    4. To assist in the development of appropriate fire protection standards and/or guidelines.
    5. To prepare recommendations for the corrections of fire, life safety hazards, and needed changes and/or additions to campus facilities
    6. To interpret applicable fire and life safety codes, regulations, and laws.
    7. To maintain liaison between University, State, Federal and Local authorities, and other agencies and personnel concerned with fire protection and life safety.
    8. To develop and maintain records on fire protection and life safety in each building. This information will be used for the KSFMO inspections.
    9. To act in an advisory capacity on fire protection and life safety matters as required for the guidance of the administration, faculty, staff and students.


    1. The Fire and Life Safety Codes are adopted, amended and revised by state law through the KSFMO. The KSFMO and the Departments of Administration - Division of Architectural Services sets the standards for the compliance with these codes. The Kansas State Fire Marshal is the final authority on any matter dealing with these codes.
    2. The KSFMO conducts annual code compliance inspections and provides written citations for violations of the Codes. Other state employees inspect University facilities for a wide variety of reasons and provide documentation on their findings, which can include Fire and Life Safety Code violations. University employees who currently have responsibilities for the construction, remodeling, inspecting and patrolling of campus facilities should report any Fire and Life Safety Code violations which they may discover in the course of their duties. Any faculty, staff, students and/or visitor should report any situation he or she feels is in violation of the Codes or is unsafe.
    3. Violations will be categorized in three ways:(1)violations that require major commitment of University resources;(2)violations that are handled as routine maintenance;and(3)violations that are behavioral in nature. Examples of these violations include the following:
      1. General.
        1. Combustible storage in mechanical/electrical rooms.
        2. Any storage in communication or mechanical closets and under or within stairwells.
        3. Flammable liquids not stored in approved cabinets or containers.
        4. Stairwells and corridors blocked open, including laboratory corridor doors. These doors must be closed unless held open by magnetic holding devices connected to the Central Fire Alarm.
      2. Exit Paths. Exit or egress paths must be kept open and clear at all times. Exit paths are all corridors and stairwells that serve the occupants of a building. The following are not permitted in exit paths even temporarily.
        1. Pressurized cylinders.
        2. Flammable or combustible liquids.
        3. Work stations, shop equipment and/or non-secured furniture, trash containers and filing cabinets.
        4. Biohazardous materials, radioactive materials, chemical agents or chemical waste materials.
        5. Any arrangement judged to create a physical hazard to responding emergency personnel or building occupants.
      3. Stairwells. No items of any kind are to be stored, even temporarily, in protected stairwells including:
        1. Chairs, desks, furniture, or other secured or non-secured obstacles.
        2. Equipment, vending machines, computers or other devices.
        3. Boxes, cartons, trashcans, postal boxes, and other containers.

Actions of the University Fire Marshal's Office

    1. After an action plan is developed, the University Fire Marshal's Office will provide an appropriate response to the KSFMO on all violations requiring major resource commitments. Maintenance violations will be referred to the appropriate University unit for remedial action or repair. Behavioral violations will be referred to the Dean or Department Head to take the appropriate action.
    2. The University Fire Marshal's Office will issue a "NOTICE OF VIOLATION" to the responsible department head for behavioral violations. At the University Fire Marshal Authority's discretion, conditions that are "distinctly hazardous" and are determined to be a clear threat to life safety may require an immediate action request. In this event, a "REQUEST FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION" notice will be issued along with the notice of violation, to the responsible department head. Once identified, the responsible department head is required to take immediate action.
      1. If responsibility for the infraction is unclear due to the joint use of an area, all parties will be notified and the issue will be forwarded to the authority over those departments for clarification of who is the responsible party. If the item presents a clear hazard, it may be removed utilizing outside resources before determining responsibility. The Vice President for Administration and Finance will resolve financial responsibility for enforcement at a later date.
      2. Any item(s) in exit paths (corridors/stairwells) creating a Code violation may be red-tagged by the University Fire Marshal's Office with a "NOTICE OF VIOLATION". A notice will also be forwarded to the nearest department(s). The notice will contain information regarding contact person, deadline for removal and potential liability of the violation.
    3. Enforcement Authority
      1. In the case of unresolved issues, the University Fire Marshal's Office will issue a "REQUEST FOR CORRECTIVE ACTION" to have the items(s) removed. Resources outside the department will be used to remove and/or correct the violation.Item(s) removed will be held for 30 days pending identification of the responsible party or parties and determining future disposition which may include desposal options or appropriate storage arrangements. Any and all costs for the correction and possible storage of items, including a minimum fee for removal, will be the responsibility of the departments involved. Adjudication on questions of responsibility will be made by the Vice President for Administration and Finance.
      2. In the event discretionary authority is utilized to immediately remove obstructions, additional incurred expenses may be assessed to the department(s) involved.
    4. Response to Violation
      1. As violations of the Fire and Life Safety Codes may endanger personnel and property and can be subject of civil and/or criminal actions, the University may also take disciplinary action against individuals and units who demonstrate continued disregard for Fire and Life Safety codes.
      2. In the event of an incident resulting in the property damage or injury, the University Fire Marshal's Office will review the information from the Vice President of Administration and Finance detailing the findings and recommendations to prevent a recurrence.
      3. In the event of an incident resulting in extreme property damage or fatal injury, the University Fire Marshal's Office will review information from the investigating departments/agencies and will submit a written report to the President detailing the findings and recommendations to prevent a recurrence.