Campus Fire Safety Right To Know

Evacuate in case of Fire Policy

In the event of a fire, Institute policy is to evacuate immediately and activate the nearest fire alarm on your way out. Do not fight the fire. Fires are to be handled by trained responders only.

Fire drills

Drills are conducted in the dormitories, both undergraduate and graduate, twice a year (Spring and Fall).

Fire Suppression/Emergency Systems:

  • All dormitories have smoke detectors and sprinklers in every bedroom. 
  • All dormitories have sprinklers in the common areas. 
  • All dormitories are equipped with fire extinguishers
  • Fire alarms are automatically transmitted directly to the Department of Facilities Operations Center. All alarms are immediately reported to Cambridge Fire Department via a dedicated telephone line for immediate response.  The Department of Facilities Operations Center is staffed 24/7 and is a FM approved central station.  
  • The Department of Facilities is responsible for testing and maintaining fire alarm and sprinkler systems as well as fire extinguishers. 
  • All elevators are automatically recalled to the first floor or can be manually recalled by the fire department.

To view the details of the fire safety systems in all of the dormitories and the fire log, scroll down and click on the attached pdf.

Awareness Training

Each year, the Division of Student Life, in conjunction with the Environment Health and Safety Office, provides fire safety guidelines to the Graduate Resident Tutors (GRTs), who are graduate student employees who are responsible for specific floors within the undergraduate dormitories.  They are required to pass on fire safety information to their floor members, specifically to the new freshman, by the end of September each year.

Specific topics:

  • How to evacuate in the event of a fire, including what to do if you encounter smoke. The dormitory specific fire evacuation routes and locations of meeting areas (outside/ inclement weather/ shelter in place), fire alarm pull stations are indicated on the maps posted near elevators, stairways, back of every bedroom door and other locations.
  • Who to report information to once in a safe location
  • Contact the EHS Office and the DSL EHS Coordinator if a fire was extinguished but the fire alarm was not activated
  • Consequences of tampering with fire equipment (smoke detectors, etc)
  • Shelter in place procedures
  • How to extinguish a cooking oil fire

Items that are expressly forbidden in dormitories

  • Candles, incense, oil lamps, and any other open flames
  • Microwave ovens and other cooking equipment in students' rooms (OK in kitchen areas)
  • Barbecue grills, hibachis, lighter fluid, etc.
  • Daisy chained extension cords
  • Propane, other hazardous gases, chemicals, etc.
  • Torchieres
  • Smoking
  • Refer to the Housing site for details


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