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To Prevent Fires:

  • To prevent fire hazards, the State Fire Marshal’s office and the Office of Public Safety established the following policies to keep our residence halls safe at all times. The following items are prohibited in residence halls:
    • Appliances with open heating elements
    • Bed risers with BUILT-IN electrical outlets*
    • Desk lamps with BUILT-IN electrical outlets*
    • Halogen lamps 
    • Curtains/tapestries not tagged as fire retardant
    • Candles and/or incense
    • Extension cords*
    • Micro-fridges: microwave + fridge combo unit (unless rented from through JMU partnership)
    • Air conditioners and room heaters
    • Wireless routers and hubs
  • With the exception of Apartments on Grace:
    • George Foreman Grills
    • Microwaves
    • Toaster/toaster oven
    • Air fryers

This is not a comprehensive list. Don't hesitate to contact the Office of Residence Life directly for any questions or concerns.

*Some third-party vendors, that are not in association with JMU, put items in their dorm packages that are not allowed in JMU Residence Halls. Please be aware of this and do not bring them to campus.

Help Eliminate Campus Fire Hazards


  • Open heating elements, such as hotplates, toasters, toaster ovens, and space heaters are not permitted in the residence halls.
    • Microwave ovens, Air-fryers, and sandwich grills are not permitted in student rooms. 
    • Refrigerators must not be larger than 5 cubic feet (total capacity). 
    • Appliances such as irons, blow dryers, coffee makers, curling irons, etc., should be plugged into a wall outlet and unplugged after use and not stored until they are cool enough to touch. 
    • Only curtains and wall coverings that have been fire-treated may be hung in residence hall rooms.
  • Smoking (including cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaporizers, hookahs, and pipes) is not permitted in any residence hall room, suite, or floor.

Open Flames

  • Candles, incense, or any open flames are not permitted in residence halls.  Candle warmers and wax burners are not allowed.

Fireworks and Explosives

  • Possessing, storing, or using any firework, explosive, or flammable substance is strictly forbidden in and around the residence halls.


  • Storage of bicycles, furniture, boxes, and trash is prohibited in stairwells and other exit ways. Do not block your room window(s) with bunked beds or lofts.

Free the Lint!

  • Too much lint in dryer filters can be a fire hazard. To prevent fires in the laundry rooms, be sure to clear out the lint filter on the dryer each time you use it! Not only will this prevent a hazard, but your clothes should dry faster as well! 

In Case of Fire or Heavy Smoke 

1. Pull the Fire Alarm

  • If you discover a fire or smell smoke, pull the building fire alarm.  Warn others by knocking on doors and shouting as you leave.

2. Once the alarm sounds

  • All occupants must immediately evacuate the building.
    • Do not open your room door without checking to see if it is HOT to the touch. 
3. If Your Door is Too Hot to Touch
  • Do NOT try to open it.
    • Wedge cloth around the frame and remain in the room.
    • Open the window to let out the heat and smoke, and to let in fresh air.
    • If your exit is blocked, hang a sheet or brightly colored shirt out the window to alert the firefighters to your location.

4. If You Can Leave Your Room

  • Be sure to wear shoes because floors and stairs may be hot.
    • Carry a towel with you to cover your face, in case of smoke.
    • Raise the blinds or turn on the lights and close your door behind you. Lock your door.
    • Use the stairs, NOT use the elevator.
5. Crawl If There is Smoke
  • If you are caught in smoke, get down and crawl. Cleaner, cooler air will be near the floor.

6. Go to the Closest Evacuation Point

  • Evacuation areas are shown on the back of your room door
    • Move away from the building to a safe distance.
    • Do not re-enter the building until instructed to do so by appropriate staff or public safety personnel. 
    • Face away from the building in case of explosion.

If You Are on Fire

If your clothes catch on fire… STOP, DROP, and ROLL wherever you are. 
Rolling smothers the fire.

Cool Burns

  • Use cool tap water on burns, immediately.
    • Do not use ointments.
    • If skin is blistered, dead white, brown, or charred, call for an ambulance.

Protect Yourself

Participate in Fire Drills

  • Fire drills are conducted two times each semester to familiarize you with:
    • The sound of your building’s fire alarm
      • The emergency exits, which you may not normally use
      • The procedure for calling the fire department
  • Learn where all the exits are – NOW!
  • During fire drills, residence hall staff may make a room-by-room check to ensure that all occupants leave the building. Failure to evacuate the building in a timely manner can result in a $75.00 fine and disciplinary action.

If You are Disabled

  • If you are disabled (even temporarily), you should:
    • Learn about fire safety
      • Plan ahead for emergencies
      • Be aware of your own capabilities and limitations
      • Let your RA know about your needs
  • On campus, the staff notifies the fire department of disabled students to help them find you. 
  • NOTE: Most elevators are designed to stop operating when the alarm sounds and are NOT safe during fires.

Report Damaged Fire Equipment
  • Fire doors - should close completely and automatically.  Never prop a fire door open.
    • Exit sign – two exits should be visible from all public areas.
    • Smoke detectors – never cover them so they can detect smoke when you are asleep and wake you in time to get out.
    • Fire extinguishers - report empty or vandalized extinguishers. 
    • All halls that contain fossil fuel burning equipment have Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors that are integrated into the fire alarm system.


  • If you have any questions or concerns about fire safety policies, procedures, or equipment, please contact the Office of Residence Life at (540) 568-4663.


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