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Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Act


The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) was signed into law in August 2008 and contains several crucial campus safety components. One of the main provisions of the HEOA is the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Act. This provision calls for all Title IV eligible institutions that participate in Title IV programs and maintain on-campus student housing facilities to publish an annual fire safety report that outlines fires safety systems, policies, practices, and statistics. The following report discloses all information required by HEOA as it relates to Tompkins Cortland Community College.

General Statement – Ownership of Student Housing

Tompkins Cortland Community College has on-campus housing for more than 800 students. Residence halls are owned by the TC3 Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation affiliated with the College, and operated by the Faculty Student Association (FSA). The residence halls are supervised by a team of professional staff and assisted by a Para-professional staff of resident assistants.

Fire Safety System Description
Student Housing Facilities

Download table listing the fire safety system for each residence facility (pdf).

Fire Statistics - 2009

Student Housing Fire Damages Injuries Fatalism
Tompkins Hall 1 0 0 0
Cortland Hall    0 0 0 0
Tioga Hall     0 0 0 0
Cayuga Lake Hall 0 0 0 0
Tioughnioga Hall 0 0 0 0
Cascadilla Hall 0 0 0 0
Seneca Hall 0 0 0 0

* Fire is defined as any instance of open flame or other burning in a place not intended to contain
the burning or in an uncontrolled manner.

Student Housing Fire Regulations

Fire safety inspections will occur at sporadic times throughout the semester by the Residence Life staff. The purpose is to educate students about how the condition of the apartment could be a threat to the safety of themselves and others. Corrections will be mandated, with failure to make corrections considered a violation of the housing license. The use of multi-outlet plugs is prohibited, except for those with built-in surge protectors. Disconnecting or covering smoke/heat detectors in the rooms is a violation of the fire code. Students are responsible for taking the proper precautions to prevent unnecessary fire alarms by not smoking in the rooms, not burning candles, potpourri, or incense in the rooms, and by cooking on clean stoves/ovens with clean pans. False reporting of a fire by pulling a fire alarm, tampering with fire equipment, or otherwise causing the system to go into alarm is a crime. Any person caught causing an alarm in this manner will be removed from the residence hall and will be arrested and face prosecution.

Fire Drills

General Procedures

Fire drills ensure that occupants of the building can hear the sound of warning signals, are aware
of the nearest means of egress, and will possess the confidence necessary to evacuate the
building quickly without panic when an actual emergency occurs.

Fire Drill Procedure

Fire evacuation drills are required by law and are held in campus residence halls. All residents must evacuate the halls as per instruction provided by the residence hall staff. Failure to evacuate will result in disciplinary action.


Portable Electric Appliances

All apartments are equipped with a stove/oven and a full-sized refrigerator. Apartments in all buildings except Tompkins and Cortland are also equipped with microwave ovens. Students in Tompkins and Cortland halls may bring a micro-wave, but are encouraged to discuss with roommates to avoid any duplication. Coffee makers, toasters and toaster ovens, and other cooking devices are to be used in the kitchen area only. All additional appliances must be UL approved. Air conditioners, space heaters, mini-fridges, halogen lamps, and multi-bulb ‘octopus’ lamps are not permitted. Appliances may not be left unattended while in use. NOTE: Mini-Fridges are not allowed except in cases of medical necessity and must have prior approval from the Coordinator of Access and Equity Services


Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the residence halls. Smoking is not permitted within 25 feet of residence halls. Violations of the smoking policy by a student are subject to disciplinary sanctions

Prohibited Items

Items NOT PERMITTED in Residence Housing
Dart boards with sharp point darts
Alcoholic beverages (regardless of your age)
Illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia
Space heaters or air conditioners
Furniture (unless medically required and pre-approved by the director)*
Mini refrigerator (unless medically required and pre-approved)*
Halogen bulbs
Nails and foam backed adhesive tape
Multi-arm floor lamps
Weapons of any kind, including paintball guns and equipment
Extra furniture; furniture is provided to meet student needs; additional furniture causes fire hazards

Fire Safety Education and Training

Resident Directors (RD’s) and Resident Assistants (RA’s) are trained each semester on fire evacuation and safety procedures. Resident Directors conduct fire drills during the first week of classes every semester. Students are provided fire safety information at Orientation during their first semester and then are reminded at floor meetings for all other semesters.

Security Alarms

The front entrance to each building is to be used to enter and exit the building. All other doors are for emergency exit only and have alarms on them. It is a violation of residence hall regulations to exit an alarm-equipped door. However, during a fire or in an emergency, students should exit through the nearest door.

Security Doors

All residence halls are secured 24 hours a day. Residents are issued an identification card (ID) that will admit them into all residence halls. Students are allowed to enter their building of residence 24 hours each day. Students will only be able to enter other residence halls using their ID cards between the hours of 7 a.m. and midnight each day. Students must contact a resident in another hall to gain entry to that hall after midnight. Remember, all non-residents must sign in with the Residence Life office in Tioga Hall or one of the RA offices in Cayuga Lake and Tioughnioga Halls after office hours, and be accompanied by their host.