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Fire Safety

Fire Safety is a crucial part of Housing & Residence Life at Cal Poly Humboldt to protect the lives and property of residents and staff members.

Residential fires are the most common fires in the United States, and they claim more lives than any other type of fire.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), an estimated 3,800 university housing fires occur yearly in the United States. The leading causes of campus-related fires are as follows:

  1. Cooking (hot plates, microwaves, portable grills, etc.)
  2. Arson
  3. Careless smoking
  4. Unattended candles
  5. Overloaded extension cords, power strips, and outlets

Housing & Residence Life at Cal Poly Humboldt has established policies, procedures, and regulations to prevent fires in the residence halls. 



  • No cooking can occur in bedrooms. 
  • All appliances must be UL-approved and plugged directly into an outlet.
Appliances allowed in kitchen area of residence halls, apartments and suites: electric fry pans, toasters, toaster ovens, rice cookers, air fryers, blenders. Allowed in the laundry room: irons. Never allowed on campus: open coil space heaters

Allowed in Kitchen Area of Residence Halls, Apartments & Suites

  • Electric Fry Pans
  • Toasters
  • Toaster Overs
  • Rice Cookers
  • Air Fryers
  • Blenders

Allowed in the Laundry Room

  • Irons

Never Allowed on Campus

  • Open Coil Space Heaters
  • Anything with an open flame or that burns, including candles (burnt or unburnt), wax melters /warmers, and incense, is prohibited. 
Burnt candle
Candles (burnt or unburnt) or incense is prohibited.
flammable materials
Liquid fluid, gasoline, or other flammable materials are prohibited. Possession of flammable liquids could result in removal from Housing on a first offense.
Butane torch and propane tank
Possession of a butane torch or a propane tank will result in removal from Housing.


Only UL-approved Power Strips are allowed. Power strips must be directly connected to an outlet. Surge protectors must have the following:

  • On/off switch
  • Able to be reset (usually a button or part of the on/off switch)
  • No movable parts (no bending or flexible elements)
  • No Daisy Chaining (power strips being plugged into other power strips)
non-fused electric outlet
Non-fused electric outlet multiplying devices may not be used under any circumstances (gang plugs). They do not have a built-in circuit breaker or an on/off switch.
power strip
Use power strips instead of extension cords. Extension cords must have a built-in circuit breaker and an on/off switch.
Visual of correct power strip usage
Power strips should not hang by the cord. Must be supported by the floor or other surface.
  • Draperies and tapestries must be treated with fire retardant, fastened flat against the wall with no air pockets, and may not hang suspended from doorways or ceilings.
Blanket hanging on bedroom wall
Wall coverings may not exceed 10% of wall space; include tapestries, posters, photos, etc..
decorative lights hanging on ceiling and sprinkler
No ceiling decorations or items attached to sprinklers.
blanket covering window
No curtains or drapes on windows.
decorative live tree
Live or dead trees/wreaths are prohibited.
paper lamps
Paper lamp shades are not permitted.
  • Evacuate a facility immediately any time the alarm in that facility sounds - Why Seconds Count.
Items left in hallway and blocking door
Do not move furniture or place any items in a way that would block the exit pathway (egress). Maintain a clear exit pathway within the width of the door opening is essential to ensure swift and safe
evacuation in case of an emergency.
Sweater on a hanger, hanging from sprikler
Never hang items from the sprinklers. Residential fire sprinklers can use between 12 and 30 gallons per minute (gpm) and will quickly flood a room within minutes.
smoke detector
Smoke detectors should not be taken down, covered, or have their batteries removed.
motorcycle in bedroom
Gas-operated motorized vehicles cannot be stored in bedrooms or common living spaces.
bikes in stairwell
Bicycles should not be left in stairwells preventing egress. They should be secured to bike racks.
Items left in hallway
No items should be stored in hallways.