Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Fire Protection Systems

Fire protection systems may serve one or more purposes in providing adequate protection for fire.

Building Fire Alarms Systems

Not all buildings on campus are equipped with building fire alarms. It is important to know if your building is equipped with an automatic central fire alarm. More information on your building's fire alarm systems can be requested by calling EHS at 231-3600.

If your building is not equipped with a building fire alarm, occupants will need to communicate to others in the building by announcing "FIRE" as they exit the building or by other means as defined in the buildings Emergency Action Plan (EAP). Emergency action planning is critical to all campus buildings, but especially important in those buildings with no fire alarm or detection system.

Automatic Fire Alarm Systems Automatic fire alarm systems are installed to facilitate notification of building occupants of a fire emergency. Various types of smoke and heat detectors along with manual pull stations are linked to the alarm system; when activated, the fire alarm system sends a signal to the Regional Dispatcher and sounds an audible and/or visual alarm within the building.
Manual Fire Alarm Pull Station (Red Boxes) Manually activated pull stations are located along building exit routes. All buildings equipped with fire alarms will have manual pull stations (red boxes).
Fire Suppression Systems Fire suppression systems are more commonly known as "sprinkler systems". Several types are present in campus buildings. The most common type uses water and is designed to extinguish small fires and/or reduce the spread of fire to provide building occupants time to evacuate.

Fire suppression systems are interconnected to the building fire alarm. When a sprinkler head is activated, it automatically activates the building fire alarm.

The building fire alarm can also be activated by smoke detectors or manually without the sprinklers going off. Manually activation of the fire alarm is how fire drills are conducted.
Other Suppression Systems Other types of fire suppression systems include dry pipe water and wet chemical systems. These systems are found where hazardous materials are located, in commercial kitchen hood exhaust systems, and in areas where freezing is a concern.
Portable Fire Extinguishers

(Additional information about selecting and using a portable fire extinguisher can be found in the training section of this program on page 36)
Fire extinguishers can play an important role in the fire protection program. How successfully they can function, however, depends upon the following conditions having been met:
  • The fire extinguisher is properly located and in working order.
  • The fire extinguisher is of the proper type for the fire that has occurred.
  • The fire is discovered while still small enough for the fire extinguisher to be effective.
  • A person ready, willing, and able to use the fire extinguisher discovers the fire.

Fire extinguishers located in laboratories and restricted access areas must be inspected by laboratory or supervisor personnel. Please see this section for more information on these requirements.

If you need assistance with determining the type and distribution of portable fire extinguishers in your work area, contact the Fire Safety Engineer at EHS by calling 231-3600.