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Fire Safety Policies

How to Your Pass H&S Inspection

Campus-Wide Policies

Residential Campus Policies

Local Building Codes

How to PASS your Residential Health and Safety Inspection

  • No candles, incense, lighter fluid, charcoal briquettes, gasoline, propane, paints or thinners, halogen lamps, neon signs. These items are banned even if never used or broken.

  • No motorcycles, mopeds, gasoline engines or engine parts.

  • No homemade lofts - put in a work order request.

  • Do not hang anything from the sprinkler heads, smoke detectors, ceiling, or light fixtures.

  • No stolen or found street or public signs.

  • Plug all surge protectors directly into wall outlets. Surge protectors are the only type of multiple plug adapter allowed.

  • Room furnishings cannot prevent doors from moving in their full range of motion or hamper access to halls in residence halls and rooms.

  • Limit room trash collection to a maximum of two kitchen size trash bags and one 12-pack sized box of mixed recyclables.

  • Never smoke inside any of the residence halls.

  • Space heaters are not allowed on campus except when provided by Facilities for temporary use only during a heating outage.

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Campus-Wide Policies

Fire Safety
A false alarm is extremely dangerous as it may cause other students to ignore an actual fire. Tampering with fire alarms, extinguishers, or other fire equipment is a violation of Massachusetts state law and can endanger the lives of fellow students as equally as setting a fire. Fire safety devices are in place at all times and are to be used only in the event of an emergency. Anyone causing a fire, activating an alarm unnecessarily, or misusing or disabling any fire equipment may be expelled from Bentley, and may be subject to criminal prosecution. Fire alarms caused by careless cooking, dirty ovens, hair dryers, showers and spraying aerosols are avoidable, and carry judicial sanctions and fines.

Fire Alarms
In case of an alarm, touch your door to feel if it is hot and look underneath for any smoke seeping in. If it is safe to evacuate, leave the building immediately by way of the nearest exit. Stay calm. Assemble outside away from the building, in the designated area for that residence hall; do not assemble in the parking lots, as these must be kept clear for the fire equipment. Do not re-enter the building until the alarm is turned off. Fire safety rules and regulations are mounted on room doors. Please become familiar with these; they could save your life.

To the extent that personal safety permits, Residence life staff assists students with evacuation; however, it is the sole responsibility of the student to evacuate whenever an alarm sounds. Do not wait for an RA to tell you to evacuate. Staff members are not always around to assist with evacuation. Any student who does not leave a building when an alarm sounds is subject to severe disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion.

Fire Drills
Fire drills are conducted to familiarize everyone with the sound of the alarms. Use the emergency exits to evacuate the building safely. These drills are conducted in every building once each semester at various days and times. Remember, failure to evacuate when the alarm sounds is punishable by a fine and university disciplinary action. Members of the residence life staff and University Police will tour the buildings during a fire drill and report those who do not evacuate.

Fire Alarm Testing
All fire alarm systems are tested periodically throughout the year. During these tests, residents are not required to evacuate their buildings. Notices will be posted to indicate dates and times of these tests.

Incendiary Devices
Due to high risk of fire, all incendiary substances (including candles, incense, halogen lamps, charcoal, lighter fluid, and neon signs) are prohibited in university housing. No open flames devices, except for food preparation in designated areas, are allowed to be used on campus.

Space Heaters
Due to high risk of fire, space heaters are not allowed to be used except when provided by Facilities for temporary use only during a heating outage. The use of space heaters also overloads circuits and cause circuit breakers to trip. If you have a concern regarding the temperatures in your work, academic, or residential area, please submit a work order so the issue may be addressed accordingly.

Smoking Policy
The Massachusetts Clean Indoor Air Act (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 270, Sect. 22) requires that smoking be prohibited at private colleges and universities within the Commonwealth except in areas designated by each institution as smoking areas. Bentley is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all members of the community. Recognizing that tobacco smoke is hazardous to the health of smokers as well as nonsmokers, the university implemented a policy that complies with the Clean Indoor Air Act and provides for a smoke-free environment.

Smoking is prohibited in all indoor spaces of the university, including all residence hall areas. It is intended that this policy be self-enforcing. However, violation of this policy, like violation of other university policies, may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the university. Responsibility for enforcement of this policy lies essentially with the president, vice presidents, deans, faculty, department chairpersons, department heads, supervisors and students. Each is responsible for ensuring compliance among all within their purview.

Smoking is permitted outside on campus grounds. Urns, or other appropriate receptacles, are available in various outdoor locations for disposal purposes.

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Residential Campus Policies

Health and Safety Inspections
In the interest of preventing fire and providing a safer living environment for all resident students, Bentley reserves the right to conduct inspections to determine and correct potentially hazardous conditions.

Inspection Procedures
In order to ensure that students are complying with the health and safety policies contained within the Bentley student handbook, the office of Residential Life and Facilities Management conduct periodic inspections of resident rooms. These are necessary to guarantee safe living conditions for the many students, visitors, and staff that utilize these buildings. The procedures that the inspectors follow when doing inspections are listed below.

This set of procedures is intended to cause the least amount of inconvenience to residents, while still giving the inspectors a chance to do their jobs effectively. In the same way that students may expect the inspectors to be courteous and reasonable, so are the students expected to treat the inspectors in the same, professional manner. The inspectors are open to discussion about why a certain situation is unsafe and in conflict with Bentley policies, but are not the proper authorities with whom to dispute a fine. If students have additional questions about the Bentley policies or a particular fine, they should contact their Resident Director.

Inspections shall be conducted no earlier than 10:00 a.m. and follow this procedure:

  1. Announce their presence by knocking loudly on the entrance door and saying: "Health and Safety Inspection."

  2. If there is no response, insert the key in the door. Knock again after opening the door just enough to identify themselves again. If there is no response, they should enter the room.

  3. If there are closed bedroom doors, they should knock and ask to come in before inspecting them. They may enter if there is no response.

  4. If in any instance there is an answer and the occupant asks them to wait, they should wait for the occupant to open the door. They may suggest to the occupant that they stay covered up in bed, and enter if the occupant clearly agrees to this.

  5. If the occupant refuses them entrance completely, they should inform the occupant thusly: "I must report your refusal to the office of Residential Life."

  6. If the student is not home, inspectors should take care to leave the room as they found it. If the door was locked, they should relock it. If the door was unlocked, it will be locked.

  7. While inspecting the students' rooms, inspectors should be courteous to the students and respectful of their belongings. Inspectors shall not open closets, cabinets, or drawers, unless there is reason to do so, such as a suspicious smell or item coming out of one of these areas. Storage room, that are located in some suites and apartments off the main living area, shall be inspected as they contain life safety equipment.

  8. If there are any infractions, inspectors may explain to the student how and why the situation is in violation of policy, and suggest possible remedies. Explanation must be given if requested.

  9. If the student believes that the situation is not in violation of any Bentley policy, the inspector should listen and consider the student's explanation. The student should then be invited to contact their Resident Director if they have additional questions. Inspectors are neither obliged nor encouraged to engage the student in debate over the violation.

  10. Inspectors shall collect all items deemed an immediate fire hazard and note their removal on the inspection form. Immediate fire hazards include, but are not limited to, candles, incense, flammable liquids and gases, and items hung on life safety equipment.

  11. The inspector shall leave the student a copy of the inspection form indicating the name of the inspectors.

All cooking appliances, except microwave ovens, are prohibited from dormitory rooms. This includes hotplates, hotpots, toaster ovens, popcorn poppers, and any other appliances. Space heaters are not allowed. Offenders will be fined $25 per illegal appliance and other judicial sanctions may follow.

Appliance Policy for Apartments Only
Toasters and toaster ovens are only permitted in the kitchens of apartment style units with full kitchens. These appliances must be UL Listed and also have an automatic shut off. Toasters crumb trays must be kept clean. The toaster itself must be placed away from the wall in the kitchen and the area must be kept free of all combustible materials. Additional cooking appliances are allowed in the kitchens of apartments provided that they do not have exposed heating elements, have automatic shut off controls, and are kept clean.

Bed Loft Policy
A work order request may be placed online should you desire your bed to be lofted. Bentley-supplied lofts are constructed by professional personnel at no cost. In addition, the following minimum requirements apply for health and safety reasons:

  • If there is a sprinkler head in the room, there must be a minimum vertical distance of 18 inches from the sprinkler head to the highest point of the bed (i.e., the top of the mattress).
  • Only Bentley University mattresses may be used.
  • For added stability, beds must be placed adjacent to two walls (i.e., in a corner).
  • Beds must not be adjacent to a window.
  • Students are not permitted to use cinder blocks for lofting purposes.

Furniture Policy
Students are not permitted to loft furniture by placing it on top of another piece of furniture. All Bentley provide furniture must be used for its intended purpose. Students are not permitted to use cinder blocks for lofting purposes.

Additionally, the use of occupant-supplied furniture is discouraged; however, in the event of use, students and/or parents do so at their own risk. All furniture, including bed lofts, brought into the residence halls must be flame retardant, which means that it complies with California Bureau of Home Furnishings Technical Bulletin 117 standards.

Furniture may not be placed in such a fashion that it impedes on the opening of a door, window, or hallway. For the safety of all building occupants, Bentley University reserves the right to have furniture removed from the room should it pose a health or safety hazard. The furniture will then be moved and stored at the room occupants' expense.

Evacuation Placards
Evacuation placards are located on the inside of the entry doors to each dormitory, apartment, or suite. Tampering with or covering this placard is strictly prohibited.

Tapestries and Wall Coverings
Tapestries and any other types of wall decorations are prohibited from being attached to the ceiling or any type of light fixture or lamp. Prohibited wall coverings include pieces of cardboard or poster board boxes (i.e. beer 6-pack or 30-pack boxes) and blankets. All wall coverings must be a minimum of 36 inches from the detectors and a minimum of 18 inches from all sprinklers. Additionally, wall coverings may not touch fire horns and strobe units or emergency placards.

Trash Disposal
Residents and their guests are responsible for removing their own rubbish from the buildings. Trash receptacles are conveniently located for this use. Due to fire and sanitary codes, it is important that trash not be left in hallways or stairwells and not more than two trash bags may be stored in any one suite, apartment, or dormitory. Offenders will be fined for each bag of rubbish that is not disposed of properly. Repeat offenses will result in judicial action.

Bicycles and Motorcycles
Students should use bicycle racks or their rooms to store bikes. Do not leave bikes in the hallways or stairways as they present a fire safety hazard. It is against the law to obstruct fire exits in any way. Motorcycles are not allowed within any buildings, and will be removed and stored at the owner's expense.

Poster Policy

  • Screens may not be removed to post any approved materials.

  • All approved materials must be placed on brick surfaces, wood doors, or bulletin boards. Approved posters, flyers and banners cannot be taped or secured to glass, wallpaper, painted surfaces, screens, wood, except for doors and splash guards in the cafes. Exception to painted surfaces: Approved posters, flyers, and banners may be posted on painted concrete block in the residence halls.

  • Approved materials may never be placed on marked or unmarked fire doors, including in the dormitories. Those placing materials on the fire doors will be referred to the judicial board.

  • Approved materials are not allowed to be placed on cars, under doors, on the ground (sidewalks, roadways, grass, etc.) or in any location that may cause a safety, fire or litter problem.

  • Approved materials are not allowed to be placed on the permanent Bentley directional, entrance, electronic signs, lampposts, or traffic signs.

  • Approved materials must be placed over surfaces that are completely solid. They may not cover any doorways, archways, windows, peepholes, heaters, or air vents.

  • Executive Dining Room, Koumantzelis Auditorium, Adamian Pavilion, Student Center assembly areas and open stair well, and other places of assembly found on campus: Decorations in these places of assembly must conform to the following state regulations: 527 CMR 10.17, 527 CMR 21.00, and 780 CMR. Decorations are defined as all materials such as scenery, plastic shields, streamers, and also cloth, cotton batting, straw, vines, leaves, trees and moss used for decorative effect, bamboo and other wood fibers, cardboard and other paper products. Decorations in these spaces must be flame-retardant as defined by the regulations. If you need assistance in understanding the regulations or finding suitable decorations, please do not hesitate to contact the Life Safety Services Department.

Local Building Codes

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