Skip to main content

Fire and Life Safety Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should I do if I notice a fire safety violation on campus or have a fire safety concern?
    • If you notice a fire safety violation on campus or have a safety concern you can contact the Division of Fire and Life Safety at 912-478-5234, email the Fire and Life Safety Director or submit a work order request through the University’s TMA system.
  2. Who should I call in the event of a fire emergency?
    • For any fire incident, always call 9-1-1.
  3. What should I do if a small fire happens?
    • Follow the RACE method and make sure emergency personnel respond.  Always notify emergency personnel for any incident regardless of if the fire goes out. This is to ensure your safety as well as others in the building.

  1. Can I have and use fireworks?
    • Georgia Law allows for consumer based fireworks but Georgia Southern does not allow for the use of or storage of any fireworks/pyrotechnics on university property. 

  1. How do I operate a fire extinguisher?
    • Remember the acronym P.A.S.S
      •  P – Pull the pin 
      • A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
      • S – Squeeze the handle
      • S – Sweep the nozzle slowly from side to side
  2. What should I do if I discover a fire?
    • Remember the acronym R.A.C.E
      • R – Rescue yourself and anyone in immediate danger
      • A – Alert occupants and emergency responders by activating the building’s fire alarm system and calling 911
      • C – Contain the spread of fire and smoke by closing all doors and windows behind you as you leave
      • E – Extinguisher the fire using a portable fire extinguisher if you are trained and feel comfortable or evacuate the building
  3. Can I have a candle in my work space?
    • No. Candles are not allowed in any university building. The only exception is for special events once an open flame permit has been approved.
  4. Can I have a portable space heater?
    • Portable space heaters are not recommended for use and cannot be used in buildings that are classified as apartments, assemblies, day-cares, dormitories, or high hazard areas by code. If you need a space heater and do not work/reside in a restricted occupancy classification, first contact the Division of Facilities Services to see if mechanical changes can be made. If mechanical changes do not meet your needs, contact your supervisor/dean/chair and see if you can be relocated to another area. If these options fail to meet the needs you can submit an portable space heater request at
  5. Can I use an extension cord?
    • Extension cords are only allowed for temporary use which is less than 8 hours a day and less than 30 days in length. Extension cords must be listed by an approved agency such as UL or ETL, used correctly, and be rated for the use and environment. Extension cords cannot be run through walls, ceilings, under doors/rugs, create a tripping hazard or obstruct any fire and life safety feature. 
  6. Is it ok to store items in a stairwell?
    • No. Storage of any kind is not allowed in stairwells by code. This means nothing can be on the stair, on the landings or underneath the stairs.
  7. Can I hang posters or flyers in stairwells?
    • No. A stairwell is a safe means of exiting and no combustibles can be within the area. 
  8. Can I store/hang items up to and from the ceiling?
    • No. Code requires a minimum of 18″ clear space all the way around a room/area from the bottom of a sprinkler head. Non-sprinkled buildings require a minimum of 24″ from the ceiling. Hanging items from the ceiling can also create an obstruction to the sprinkler head preventing proper water dispersion. 

  1. Do I need a permit to have an open flame on campus?
  2. What types of events require a permit?
    • Grilling (except for designated cooking areas protected by a hood suppression system such as in kitchens)
    • Candle use (candles are not allowed in university property except for special events)
    • Sterno can use
    • Hot work activates
    • Portable space heater use
    • Pyrotechnics
    • Anything using an open flame
  1. Are Christmas trees allowed in university buildings?
    • Natural trees and vegetation are not allowed on campus per code. Artificial trees are allowed but they must be located in common areas only (lobbies, reception areas, etc…), cannot obstruct exits, paths to exits, fire extinguishers, components of the fire alarm and sprinkler systems, or AED’s. Christmas trees and other decorative materials such as wreaths must also meet the flame propagation criteria of NFPA 701.
  2. Can decorative lights such as strands on a Christmas tree be used?
    1. Decorative lighting can be used if they are listed by an approved agency such as UL or ETL and are not constructed entirely of metal. Lighting must be properly installed, secured, and cannot obstruct any means of egress or fire protection device/system. Any lighting must be unplugged prior to the area being vacant.
  1. How can I schedule fire safety training for my building/residents?
    • In-person fire safety training can be scheduled by contacting the University’s Fire and Life Safety Division. We offer a wide range of trainings and can tailor them to meet your needs. 
  2. Who should have fire safety training?
    • EVERYONE! Everyone should have annual fire safety training ranging from general fire safety, fire extinguisher usage and emergency evacuation. 

Last updated: 3/24/2022