Annual Campus Fire Safety Report



Each of the 5 residence halls at Saint Mary’s College is equipped with an electronically supervised fire reporting system. The system is monitored 24 hours per day/365 days per year in the Security building by Security personnel. The fire alarm system monitors every fire detector on a continuous schedule and reports any fire or troubles alarms directly to the building panel and to the fire computer in the Security Building.

Residence hall floors and student rooms are fully sprinklered. The sprinkler system is electronically supervised with reporting directly to the Security Building where it is monitored 24 hours per day / 365 days per year by Security personnel. When a fire detector or flow sensor is activated, the building fire alarm horns and strobes will activate. Any magnetic or card activated fire doors are designed to release, providing unrestricted egress.

The Notre Dame Fire Department is our primary emergency responder, with the South Bend Fire Department on standby. In the event the fire alarm system is activated in any building at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame Fire Department is notified electronically and dispatched immediately to the location of the alarm.


Each residence hall has two mandatory fire drills per semester. These drills are at various times of the day and night. Residence hall staff, Security Department and the Notre Dame Fire Department participate in the fire drills. Once the fire alarm system is activated, the RA's will ensure that all students have left the building and are assembled at the designated meeting point outside. Any comments or violations will be reported on a Security Fire Drill Report and forwarded to the Compliance Officer for follow-up.


Fire and life safety inspections are conducted annually in each College building (including residence halls) by the College Compliance Officer. These inspections are conducted not only to ensure compliance with fire and life safety codes, but to ensure a campus free from hazards. The Compliance Officer, Maintenance department and outside sprinkler and fire alarm professionals maintain life safety systems such as fire alarms and sprinkler systems through a preventive maintenance and inspection program. Systems and equipment are upgraded as a need is identified.

Keeping the work and living spaces free from fire hazards is an essential part of this program. The Compliance Officer asks for everyone’s help in maintaining a productive and safe living and work environment.


Due to the community living style of the residence halls, safety regarding fire hazards is extremely important. If students have questions regarding any rules or policies, they are directed to speak with their Hall Director.

Hallways – In order to comply with established fire codes, there may be no personal items in the hallway or outside a student's door. This includes unattached memo boards, shower caddies, welcome mats, shoes, or bicycles.

Smoking—No smoking is permitted in any campus building or on Opus Hall's balcony. Those students who choose to smoke must do so at least 15 feet away from any building and not impede any entryways into buildings.

Appliances – Caution should be exercised when using electrical appliances. Open coil appliances and those that utilize 15 amps or more are prohibited. Examples of prohibited appliances are window air-conditioning units, space heaters, toasters, microwaves and hot plates. While in use, electrical appliances must not be left unattended. Irons must be turned off and unplugged when not in use.

Common Areas – In order to comply with fire-safety regulations, all common areas including hallways, lounges, and laundry rooms must be kept free of personal belongings, furniture, boxes, luggage, and bicycles.

Cooking – With the exception of making coffee, cooking in student rooms is prohibited. Each hall has a kitchen that students may use.

Holiday Decorations –Live Christmas trees and greens are not allowed in or around student rooms. Only artificial decorations of a fire-resistant nature are allowed.

Lights and Candles –Non LED Electric decorative lights are not allowed in or around student rooms. This includes Christmas lights, other holiday lights, and any decorative, stringed lights that are not UL certified & LED. Lamps or lights with exposed bulbs and halogen bulbs are also prohibited. The use of colored light bulbs, multi-bulb “spider lamps,” and octopus lamps are also not permitted. Candles of any kind (burning or not) are prohibited. Shisha, hookah, or similar pipes are also not permitted in the residence halls.

Electrical Wiring – The electrical wiring in the residence halls is not designed for unlimited use. Wall sockets should not be overburdened.  Extension cords should not be used but rather, UL approved power strips with circuit breaker technology is an acceptable alternative.  You should carefully consider the location of all electrical appliances in order to maximize any wall sockets. Sometimes simply rearranging what is used and where it is used may prevent electrical outages.

Fire-Hazardous Materials – Any activity or material that could be considered hazardous is prohibited including the following: incense, fireworks, smoking, and storing or using flammable liquids.


Fire Alarms – Safety standards exist for the health and safety of the residential community. Students are expected to comply with safety rules and fire drills. Each student room is equipped with a smoke detector that will sound when it is activated by smoke or fire. This alarm does not engage the building’s fire alarm system; in the case of fire, students are directed to pull the nearest fire alarm and exit the building as quickly as possible. The smoke detector in each room will also sound if there is a malfunction. In this case, students are advised not to dismantle the device, but should contact Security or Maintenance immediately so the device can be assessed and replaced. Hallways and other public spaces of the residence halls are equipped with smoke detectors that are connected to the electronically supervised fire alarm system that is monitored 24 hours per day/365 days per year by the Security department.

Students are encouraged to know the location of the nearest pull-station, fire equipment and exit route. In case of fire, the nearest pull-station should be pulled. This will summon Campus Security and the Notre Dame Fire Department. If time permits, dial 9-1-1 or extension 5000 to notify Security of the exact location of the fire so the arriving fire units can be sent directly to the scene. When a fire alarm sounds, students are instructed to:

  • Leave as quickly and safely as possible through the nearest exit.
  • If possible, grab room keys and close room doors.
  • Use stairs only (elevators should not be used)
  • Join the Hall Director and RA's outside in the designated area and follow the directives from the fire department, Residence Life and Security staff.
  • Return to the building when the all-clear signal is given

NOTE: Students are advised that failure to respond to a fire alarm is subject to disciplinary action.


Fire Safety Training and Education


Hall Director's and Residential Assistants (RA’s) receive training in fire safety and evacuations during RA training before the start of the fall semester. Notre Dame Fire Department conducts fire extinguisher training with all the Hall Director's and RA's during RA training. This includes classroom presentations, a short film and an outside skills practice with working fire extinguishers. Notre Dame Fire Department uses a fire simulator unit that incorporates live flame into the training.

Students receive safety information at the orientation session they attend before the school year starts. During the first week of the semester, the students also are required to participate in a mandatory floor meeting where they go over the residence hall rules, including fire evacuation and tornado procedures. Throughout the year, the students receive materials and fire/safety emails from the residence hall director, the Compliance Officer and the RA's.

The Guide to Residence Hall Living is available to each student and is located on the College’s Residence Life web site. The fire/safety rules and regulations found in the Guide to Residence Hall Living are reviewed at the first mandatory floor meeting. Fire/Safety education is provided for those who are found in violation of the fire/safety rules of the College.



Students and employees should report any fire that has occurred to the following:

Saint Mary’s College Security Department (24/7) Phone: 574-284-5000 (5000 from any campus phone)



The Security department is responsible for keeping a log that records all fires in student housing facilities. The Fire Log includes the nature, date, time and general location of each fire. The Fire Log for the most recent 60 days will be available for viewing in the Security Building during normal business hours. Any portion of the fire log older than 60 days will be available within 2 business days of a request for public inspection.