Rooftops and Other Dangerous Places
Falls from rooftops, balconies, and upper-floor windows can cause serious injury and even death. Fire escapes and rooms storing high-voltage electrical equipment also have been scenes of tragic accidents.
Your K-12 school, college, or university may be held liable for injuries sustained while in a restricted area on campus even if the person wasn’t authorized to be there. Liability can occur if an institution allows “unreasonably dangerous” conditions that cause injury to someone in the restricted area.
Prevent Access to Restricted Areas
- Identify all campus locations designated as restricted access. Regularly inspect these locations. Document the inspections.
- Prohibit dangerous activities such as climbing onto ledges, accessing the roof, and climbing onto fire escapes — except in emergencies.
- Ensure locks or access pads are intact and working properly.
- Use alarms to alert personnel of unauthorized access.
- Post warnings about restricted areas. Include language such as “Keep Out” or “Authorized Access Only."
- Notify residents about restricted areas in campus housing and residence halls. Provide notification at the beginning of each school term.
- Consult building codes. Ensure all safety regulations are followed.
Provide Staff With Training, Details on Reporting
Train building supervisors, maintenance staff, resident assistants, and others on the importance of preventing unauthorized access to restricted areas.
Instruct campus staff and students about how to report broken locks and other systems designed to keep unauthorized people out of dangerous locations. Encourage them to do so.
About the Author
Alyssa Keehan, Esq.
CPCU, ARM, Director of Risk Management Research & Consulting
Alyssa oversees the development of UE’s risk management content and consulting initiatives, ensuring reliable and trustworthy guidance for our members. Her areas of expertise include campus sexual misconduct, Title IX, threat assessment, campus security, contracts, and risk transfer. She previously handled UE liability claims and held positions in the fields of education and insurance.