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516 - Environment, Health & Safety

Section: 516-11
Effective: 05/11/2010
Supersedes: 05/01/1998
Next Review Date: TBD
Issuance Date: TBD
Issuing Office: Environment, Health & Safety

PPM 516-11 Policy [pdf format]




Fire is a leading cause of injury, death, and property loss. The purpose of the UCSD Fire/Life Safety Program is to ensure reasonable and consistent protection for people and property in, on, and/or exposed to UCSD-administered properties, in conformance with the referenced statutes, regulations, and policies (see Part IV). The program addresses fire prevention, fire protection, public fire/life safety education, emergency incident response, fire, panic, and explosion.


Fire prevention utilizes adherence to established safety procedures and controls to limit the potential for emergencies. Fire protection incorporates features and procedures to limit the effects of fires and explosions.  Fire/life safety is a primary responsibility of all faculty, staff, and students. When a fire does occur, each individual should be capable of effectively responding to the emergency.  The UCSD Director of Fire & Life Safety, as a functional member of the Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) Office, is responsible for developing and implementing the UCSD Fire/Life Safety Program, and serves as liaison with external fire/life safety agencies.


II.            PROCEDURES

Established fire/life safety standards and procedures shall be adopted by the University. EH&S shall prepare standards and procedures for review by affected departments, such as Facilities Design & Construction (FD&C), Facilities Management (FM), Housing, Dining & Hospitality (HD&H), Capital Planning, and the Campus Budget Office (CBO).


A.    Construction

Fire/life safety-related standards and procedures for building construction will be incorporated into the UCSD Facilities Design Guidelines published by FD&C. EH&S will work with FD&C, FM, and HD&H in developing these standards and procedures. EH&S shall review all building construction documents, including plans and specifications, to ensure that they specify construction methods and materials in compliance with the referenced codes, regulations, and standards. EH&S shall inspect building construction to ensure that it is in conformance with the approved construction documents, and in compliance with the referenced codes, regulations, and standards. All construction, including alterations, renovations, and interior space modifications, is subject to plan review and construction inspection by EH&S.

B.    Fire Investigation

EH&S shall be notified of all fires and explosions occurring on UCSD property or in UCSD occupied spaces, including those discovered after extinguishment. Incident scenes shall not be disturbed until investigated as to origin and cause and released by the UCSD Director of Fire & Life Safety or his/her designee.

C.    Corridors and Exitways

Corridors and exitways (including, but not limited to: stairwells, exit balconies, and exit passageways) are designed and constructed to provide safe passage for building occupants in both normal circulation and emergency exiting from the building. Obstructed corridors and exitways present a hazard to free and expeditious egress by occupants and safe entry by emergency responders. Combustible items can also initiate or contribute to a fire, which, in turn, could eliminate the use of that corridor or exitway as a means

of escape.  Therefore, corridors and exitways shall not be used as working spaces nor for the storage of equipment or materials, including but not limited to:  bookcases, file cabinets, desks, chairs, boxes, chemicals, gas cylinders, dewars, bicycles, and equipment carts. Also, all fire doors (recognizable as such by the presence of a fire-resistance rating label on the edge of the door closest to the hinges) opening into corridors or exitways shall be kept closed except when in immediate use.

These restrictions apply to all corridors and exitways within UCSD facilities unless specifically excluded by the UCSD Director of Fire & Life Safety or his/her designee.

D.    Fire Protection System Impairments

There will be times when it is necessary to test, maintain, and/or repair built-in fire protection systems such as fire alarm systems, fire sprinkler systems, or fire pumps.  When this occurs the EH&S staff will be notified of these impairments and the proper notifications to the appropriate parties will occur.  When any of these impairments exceed a 12-hour period, the Director of Fire & Life Safety shall be notified so that a fire watch can be established.

E.    Maximum Occupancy

The UCSD Director of Fire & Life Safety or his/her designee shall determine the maximum number of persons that may occupy areas of assembly (e.g., classrooms, auditoriums, gymnasiums, dining facilities, conference rooms, etc.), and shall ensure this maximum is posted in each area as required. The posted maximum number of occupants shall not be exceeded at any time. Aisles shall be maintained clear and unobstructed.

F.    Fire Drills

The UCSD Director of Fire & Life Safety or his/her designee shall conduct fire drills when legally required and/or when deemed necessary. Personnel shall perform their duties as in an actual emergency.

G.    Combustible Materials and General Safety

1.     No accumulation of trash, debris, lumber, or any other combustible material shall be allowed to collect/stay in any area or building.

2.     Management of brush and other combustible growth shall be accomplished in a manner approved by the UCSD Director of Fire & Life Safety or his/her designee.

3.     Storage and use of flammable and combustible liquids, and all other hazardous materials, shall be in accordance with the California Fire Code and UCSD policies.  Contact EH&S for assistance.

4.     Use of combustible decorations shall be in accordance with the California Fire Code and Title 19, California Code of Regulations. Holiday decorations shall be permitted as described in the EH&S “Holiday Safety” bulletin.

5.     All spaces (exception: approved laboratory spaces) shall be kept free of open flame devices. All spaces shall be kept free of electrical equipment which is hazardous or connected so as to cause an overload.


6.     Extension cords shall not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring. Power taps (as defined in the California Fire Code) may be used, but shall be directly connected to a permanently-installed receptacle.

H.    Fire Code Permits


All fire code permits (e.g., open burning, welding and cutting, fire protection shutdowns, places of assembly, tents, canopies, and temporary membrane structures, public events, pyrotechnics, fumigations, etc.) shall be obtained through EH&S.

I.      Emergency Instructions

1.     Fire Response


a.     Pull nearest fire alarm.


b.    Report the incident:
CAMPUS and SIO: dial 911
MEDICAL CENTER (Both Hillcrest and La Jolla): dial 6111


c.     If the fire is small, a clear exit is available, and you are trained in proper selection and use, use a fire extinguisher. If the fire spreads, evacuate and close doors as you leave.


d.    Upon activation of the fire alarm system, evacuate the premises unless you have an assigned fire response duty.


e.     Gather in a group with other occupants outside of the building, and remain outside until reentry is authorized by either the fire department or UCSD Police.

2.     Earthquake Response


a.     Crawl under a desk or table during shaking.


b.    If inside a building, remain under cover until shaking stops. Evacuate after the earthquake subsides.


c.     Report any broken utilities to UCSD Police or Facilities Management immediately.


d.    Remain outside of building until reentry is authorized by competent authorities.


e.     Assist injured persons in securing medical attention.


f.     Avoid using telephones except to report an emergency.

3.     Emergency Planning

Emergency incident and disaster plans shall be prepared in consultation with UCSD Police and EH&S Emergency Preparedness Staff.  Plans and drills will be monitored by EH&S for effectiveness and conformance with current laws and regulations.




A.    It is the responsibility of every person to be familiar with and comply with these fire/life safety policies and procedures. Supervisors, administrative heads, department chairs, and business managers shall ensure that all individuals under their supervision are familiar with these policies and procedures.

B.    It is the responsibility of EH&S to review plans for both new construction and renovations and alterations to ensure conformance to the fire/life safety aspects of the above referenced codes and standards.

C.    It is the responsibility of the Office of Real Estate Development to ensure that all leased or rented properties are constructed and improved so as to comply with the appropriate codes applicable to UCSD, prior to and during occupancy by the University.

D.    It is the responsibility of the Office of Facilities Design & Construction, Facilities Management, and Housing, Dining & Hospitality, with respect to the projects which they manage, to ensure that buildings are constructed and/or remodeled in compliance with appropriate codes applicable to UCSD and according to these policies and procedures.

E.    It is the responsibility of all UCSD Medical Center employees to be familiar with, and perform the fire/life safety-related duties listed in the most recent Hospital Instructions.

F.    U.S. Coast Guard fire regulations and the directives of the Marine Superintendent shall be followed on all UCSD research vessels.

G.    Individuals in charge of areas with special fire protection problems shall contact EH&S for direction.

H.    It is the responsibility of the offices of Facilities Design & Construction, Facilities Management, and Housing, Dining & Hospitality to notify EH&S when any built-in fire protection feature (fire alarm system, fire sprinkler system, and/or fire pump) is impaired for greater than 12 hours.


IV.           REFERENCES


A.    California Health and Safety Code

B.    California Code of Regulations

1.     Title 8— Industrial Relations (Occupational Safety and Health)

2.     Title 19— Public Safety

3.     Title 24— California Building Standards Code


a.     Part 2— California Building Code

b.    Part 3— California Electrical Code

c.     Part 4— California Mechanical Code

d.    Part 5— California Plumbing Code

e.     Part 9— California Fire Code

f.     Part 12— State Referenced Standards Code

C.    National Fire Codes of the National Fire Protection Association

D.    UCSD Facilities Design Guidelines