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Comply With Federal Fire Safety Provisions

Alyssa Keehan, Esq.
October 2020
How to ensure compliance with the three major components of the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Act

Disclose fires in on-campus housing and your institution’s fire safety policies and procedures. Doing so is required under the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Act, which Congress designed to improve student safety. If your institution doesn’t comply, the Department of Education (ED) can fine it up to $58,328 per violation.

Fire Safety Provisions

The act defines a fire as “any instance of open flame or other burning in a place not intended to contain burning or in an uncontrolled manner” regardless of the fire’s cause, size, or whether injury or damage results. Institutions with on-campus housing facilities must comply with its three major components.

  1. Maintain a publicly available log of reported fires in campus housing facilities. “Reported” means to any official at the institution. The fire log — which can be combined with the crime log required under the Clery Act — must include the date each fire was reported as well as the fire’s date, time, nature, and general location.
  2. Submit fire statistics annually to ED. For each on-campus housing facility, your institution must disclose for the most recent three years:
    • Total number of fires
    • Cause of each fire
    • Number of people killed or who suffered injuries resulting in treatment
    • Estimated value of property damage
  3. Publish an annual Fire Safety Report (FSR) containing fire safety policies and fire statistics for each housing facility. You may combine the FSR with the annual security report the Clery Act requires. The resources below provide examples of combined and separate reports. In addition to the fire statistics provided to ED, the FSR must address specific items such as each facility’s fire safety system and evacuation procedures. For a complete list of FSR requirements, see 34 C.F.R. 668.49, subsection (b).

 

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Additional Resources
Tartleton State University: Annual Security Report and Annual Fire Safety Report
University of Massachusetts Lowell: Annual Fire Safety Report