Fire Safety

The Department of Residence (DOR) is committed to providing safe and code compliant facilities for our residents, staff and guests. Over the past 5 years, extensive efforts and financial resources have been committed by the DOR to complete numerous capital life safety projects within our facilities.

The DOR has a comprehensive life safety program that includes working with students and staff and also involves partnering with Iowa State University Environmental Health and Safety, ISU Police, ISU Risk Management, ISU Facilities Planning and Management, Iowa State Fire Marshal's office and the Ames Fire Department (AFD). All of these entities contribute to and play a significant role in the success and implementation of our fire and life safety programs.

Emergency response is provided by the City of Ames Fire Department. Fire Station 2, located at 132 Welch Avenue, responds to all Residence Hall fire alarms. Fire Station 1, located at 1300 Burnett Avenue, responds to fire alarms at the Frederiksen Court and SUV Village Apartments. The Iowa State Fire Marshal's office is the delegated authority for life safety inspections and compliance for the DOR. Facility inspections occur biennially.

Emergency Evacuation - Signage indicating the Fire/Emergency/Tornado Procedure has been placed on the backs of all student room doors in the Residence Halls, Frederiksen Ct. and Schilletter and University Village Apartments. In the event that a fire alarm sounds in your building, calmly do the following:

  • Exit your room, closing and locking your room door behind you.
  • Leave the building immediately. Use the stairs if you are on an upper floor. Do not use the elevators.
  • If there is smoke in the air, keep low. Smoke heat and toxic gases normally rise to the ceiling.
  • Once outside, assemble a safe distance from the building (at least 150 feet).
  • Make certain that emergency response personnel and equipment are not blocked from entering the building.
  • Try and account for residents and staff known to have been in the building.
  • Provide fire and rescue personnel information and location of the fire.
  • Do not re-enter the building until the fire department has declared the building safe.

    Emergency Evacuation of Mobility Impaired Persons - Some members of the residential community may need help in evacuating the building. We ask that you provide assistance, to the extent you are able, to get these individuals to a safe location.

    • Assist the person by helping them move to the nearest marked exit. In case of a fire, do not use the elevator.
    • If the person's disability prevents them from exiting the building, they should be left in a stairwell. Stairwell landings will provide temporary shelter from fire and smoke and shall be considered an "Area of Refuge".
    • Upon exiting the building, immediately inform fire and rescue personnel of the exact location of any person that was left in a stairwell or student room. Firefighters will assist persons unable to evacuate.

    Emergency Evacuation Maps - Evacuation maps are posted throughout the residence halls near elevators and entrances and show stairwells and exits. Residents are expected to learn the location of the exit stairwells and doors and plan more than one exit route.

    Fire Alarms - Alarm pull stations and fire bells or horns are located in hallways and other common areas throughout the residence halls. Alarm systems are inspected annually by a certified fire alarm inspection company. A building's fire alarm will sound when an alarm station is pulled and/or when an automatic fire alarm is triggered. The alarm signal is transmitted to the DOR Service Center and ISU Police. ISU Police dispatch will process the signal and then contact the AFD and request that they respond to the building in alarm. Often, ISU Police will also respond and be onsite when a building is in alarm.

    When a heat or smoke detector is activated automatically, the Service Center and ISU Police are notified electronically through Phoenix. ISU Police will then contact the AFD for response. ISU Police Officers will also often times respond and be onsite when a building is in alarm. Alarm systems are inspected and tested annually by a certified fire alarm technician. These devices are wired into the fire alarm system and will activate when the building goes into alarm. When the buildings alarm system is temporarily out of operation, a fire watch (walking patrol of the building by staff) is maintained until the system is restored.

    Fire Drills - The DOR conducts a fire drill at the beginning of each semester. Fire drills are announced through postings and at house meetings. The DOR policy handbook states the following: "You and your guests are required to evacuate the building when a fire alarm is sounded, and reenter the building only when fire department staff gives permission to do so. Failure to do so endangers not only you, but residence and fire department staffs as well. If you (or your guests) do not evacuate the building when the fire alarm sounds, or if you (or your guests) re-enter before permission has been granted, you will be held accountable through the judicial system."

    Fire Extinguishers - Fire extinguishers are located throughout the residence halls and are inspected and maintained yearly by the DOR. DOR Adheres to International Fire Code (State of Iowa) for all inspections..

    Smoke and Heat Detectors - Single station smoke detectors are located in every student room and also in all of the DOR apartments. Some of the smoke detectors in student rooms are hard wired into the fire alarm system while others are battery operated. Heat and smoke detectors are located throughout all residence halls and dining facilities. Additionally, all automatic operating dampers that are located in HVAC ductwork are inspected every 10 years as required by code.

    Sprinkler Systems - These are inspected quarterly by a certified building sprinkler inspection company. Hood suppression systems that are located in the kitchens for ISU Dining and Residence Hall kitchenettes are inspected twice a year. Residents are reminded to not hang items from sprinkler heads in their rooms. The following table illustrates the sprinkler status of the residential buildings:

    BuildingsTotal Sq. Ft.Sq. Ft. Sprinklered
    Barton-Lyon-Freeman73,82073,820
    Birch-Welch-Roberts118,516118,516
    Buchanan93,73993,739
    Eaton84,00084,000
    Frederiksen Ct.499,928499,928
    Friley364,149364,149
    Geoffroy182,484182,484
    Helser150,605150,605
    Larch101,228101,228
    Linden119,829119,829
    Maple103,778103,778
    Martin84,00084,000
    Oak-Elm137,120137,120
    Wallace103,778103,778
    Willow101,229101,229
    Wilson103,778103,778
    Total2,421,9812,421,981