Fire Safety

Some examples of what qualifies as a fire safety emergency:

  • Fire alarms
  • A smoke detector alarm that won't stop alarming
  • Water leaking, dripping or pouring out of a sprinkler head

For emergencies only, call Facilities Central at 202-994-6706 option 2. This line is staffed 24 hours a day.


Smoke Detector

Smoke detectors are typically located on the ceiling or high on the wall. Most residence halls have 120 Volt equipment backed up by batteries, or they are connected to a system. If the batteries are removed or put in backwards, the equipment will chirp intermittently. If the smoke detector is beeping or chirping, it will still work. The batteries are changed on an annual basis. Tampering with fire alarm systems or components is against the housing guidelines.

If the smoke detector is beeping or chirping intermittently, submit a FixIt request.


Smoke Smells

Smoke smells in dorms could be coming from several sources. If you see smoke, fire, or sense imminent danger to yourself, other occupants, or the building itself, pull the closest pull station and evacuate the building. There are fire extinguishers available in all dorms as a preventive measure to limit damage. All fires must be reported to GWPD at 202-994-6111.

Smoke smells may also be a result of: 

  • Dust on heating equipment (this is typical during the summer to winter transitions)
  • HVAC system equipment belts emitting a burned rubber smell through the ductwork


Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are provided in residence halls as a preventive measure. All fire extinguishers are on an annual preventive maintenance schedule to be checked, filled if needed, and recertified. If an extinguisher is expired, it will still work, but you should submit a FixIt ticket. If the extinguisher is discharged, GWPD must be given notice so it can be replaced 202-994-6110. Tampering with fire safety equipment is against the housing guidelines. 



Sprinkler heads will be located throughout the buildings. These should not be tampered with in any way. Do not hang any items from the sprinkler head. Water leaking, dripping, or pouring out of the sprinkler head would qualify as a sprinkler emergency. 

Any facilities-related requests may be submitted through FixIt.