Residence Hall Safety

Living away from home involves many new responsibilities, including keeping your dormitory safe from fire and other things that may harm you, your neighbors, and visitors. Below are some guidelines to ensure a safe environment while living in SAIC residence halls. For more information, please review the Residence Hall Polices set forth in the Residence Hall Guide of the SAIC Student Handbook located on the Current Students Dashboard.


  • Do not leave food cooking unattended in your room or in the common kitchen area.
  • Cook only when you are alert and not sleepy or drowsy.
  • To put out a small pan fire. If you feel comfortable doing so, slide a lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Keep the pan covered until it is completely cool.
  • If a fire starts in a microwave oven, keep the microwave door closed and unplug the unit. Do not try to remove the burning contents or container from the microwave oven.
  • Kitchens are not to be used for artmaking of any kind.



  • Plug appliances directly into an outlet in lieu of extension cords. Do not overload electrical circuits.
  • Use only Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed appliances
  • The following appliances are prohibited in the residence halls:
    • Open-element appliances, such as space heaters and broilers
    • Sun lamps
    • Potpourri pots (candles or electric)
    • Halogen lamps/tungsten lights



Candles are prohibited in the residence halls unless the wick has been completely cut or the candle has never been burned.


  • Do not hang objects from the ceiling, overhead pipes, or sprinkler heads.
  • All decorations must be fire rated or rated fire retardant or noncombustible.
  • All electrical decorations must be UL listed and rated for indoor use.
  • Inspect decoration for damaged wires, loose connections, or cracked sockets before each use.
  • Lights and decorations should be turned off when the area is not occupied.
  • Do not install decorations in areas that may cover or conceal exits, sprinkler heads, or fire safety devices, or reduce the width of an exit path.



  • Never place power cords across traffic paths or under carpets.
  • Never tack or nail cords.
  • Never plug extension cords into other extension cords.


Evacuation Drills

  • Participate in evacuation drills as if they were real. Evacuation drills are conducted several times throughout the year. All residents and guests occupying the building at the time of the drill are required to participate in the evacuation.
  • Review evacuation routes and floor plans to internal stairwells and exterior fire escapes. Evacuation routes and floor plans are posted on each floor.
  • Learn the location of all exits and routes out of your building.


Smoke Alarms and Fire Alarms

  • Make sure your room is equipped with a smoke alarm.
  • Fire alarm pull stations are located on each floor of every building.
  • Activation of any fire detection device (including heat detectors, pull stations, sprinkler heads, or sprinkler valves) will trigger the building alarm system.
  • Tampering with the fire equipment is a felony offense in the state of Illinois.
  • When the smoke or fire alarm sounds, get out of the building quickly and do not return until the "all clear" is given by Campus Security or emergency responders.


Evacuation Procedures

  • In the event of a fire alarm, the entire residence hall, including individual rooms and common areas, will be evacuated.
  • If you discover a fire, walk to the nearest pull station, pull the alarm, and exit the building as quickly as possible. If you cannot reach the pull station because it is blocked by fire or smoke, go to the nearest exit and leave the building.
  • Do not attempt to extinguish a fire unless it is impeding your exit and you feel comfortable operating a fire extinguisher.
  • Evacuate through the nearest stairwell door. Follow the EXIT signs and proceed to the building's exit, then move away from the building. Follow instructions from Campus Security and Emergency Response personnel.
  • The fire escape should only be used if other stairwells exits are blocked.
  • Failure to evacuate in a timely manner is a violation of city ordinance and SAIC policy. Serious sanctions (up to and including expulsion from your SAIC residence and suspension from SAIC) may be assigned to any student who does not evacuate the building when the fire alarm sounds. In addition, the Chicago Fire Department and Police Department may decide to press charges against any student failing to evacuate.


Evacuation Procedures for Individuals with Disabilities

Residents with permanent disabilities that would inhibit them from using the stairs during an emergency evacuation should register with the Disability and Learning resource Center (DLRC), which will inform Residence Life Staff and Campus Security. Residents who have temporary disabilities that would prevent them from using the stairs during emergency evacuations should notify Residence Life staff. These residents should abide by the evacuation plan outlined in the Residence Hall Guide of the SAIC Student Handbook.


Smoking cigarettes, pipes, hookahs, burning candles, lighting incense, or any other fire code violation is prohibited in any residence hall room.