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Fire Safety Compliance

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) became public law 110-315 on August 14, 2008. Under the HEOA, institutions of higher education that provide on campus housing facilities for students must publish an annual fire safety report containing information about campus fire safety practices and policies.

Old Dominion University (ODU) has made a serious commitment to fire safety. The University has a full-time Fire Safety Engineer in the Department of Risk Management dedicated to fire safety for students, faculty, staff and visitors. ODU works closely with the Municipal Fire Department (Norfolk Fire Rescue) and the Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office, to meet or exceed applicable local and state code requirements. Norfolk Fire Rescue are first responders to all fire and medical emergencies on campus.

Safety Education & Training Initiatives

Residence hall staff, RA's, GA's and RHD's, receive annual fire safety training prior to the start of the Fall Semester. Two fire evacuation drills per residence hall are conducted each year. Participation in these fire drills is mandatory and failure to evacuate the building during a fire alarm will result in disciplinary action. Fire safety training is also provided to other students, faculty and staff by request.

Residence Hall Fire Safety

Old Dominion University houses over 4600 students in 56 on-campus housing facilities.

Prohibited Items

  • Extension cords
  • Multi-plug adapters
  • Halogen and torch lamps
  • Toasters/toaster ovens
  • George Foreman type grills
  • Hazardous materials
  • Appliances with exposed heating elements
  • Explosives/flammables/propane/gas grills
  • Motorized vehicles
  • Firearms/weapons/Incendiary devices
  • Live Christmas trees
  • Candles/incense/oil lamps/open flames
  • Portable heaters
  • Fireworks

Future Improvements

Even though our Housing facilities meet or exceed the minimum fire and life safety standards, we are constantly evaluating the need for improvement and upgrades to existing fire and life safety systems. One goal is to have all residence halls equipped with fully addressable fire alarm systems as well as automatic sprinkler systems. We are working to this end.

Fire alarm

Policies & Procedures

Smoke-Free Campus

  • All residence halls, including student rooms, are smoke free
  • Smoking is not allowed within 20 feet of any building entrance
  • Smoking any substance or creating smoke through the use of incense, candles or other scented smoke producing items is prohibited in residence halls
  • Students documented for possession of candles/incense in a residence hall will be assessed a fee of $75
  • Students documented for burning candles/smoking in a residence hall will be assessed a fee of $100

Smoke-Free Campus

  • Residents are required to evacuate the building immediately when a fire alarm sounds
  • Failure to evacuate for any reason may result in referral to the judicial system and assessed a fee of $50 for first offense; $75 for second offense

Tampering with Fire Safety Equipment

  • Any student who tampers with fire and life safety equipment or interferes with the operation of the alarm systems, damages or removes any part of the alarm systems, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors or an exit sign is subject to disciplinary action, including a $200 fine
  • Any student who deliberately sets off a false alarm is subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal from the residence hall and possible suspension from the university. This will result in a fine of $500 and costs associated with the violation, in addition to arrest

Negligent Alarms

  • Residents who set off a fire alarm as a result of cooking will face a fine of $50


2010 Fire Log Summary

Housing Facility General Location Date of Fire Time Occurred Cause of Fire Injuries Fatalities Cost of Damage
Powhatan II Apt. JJ3 Bedroom 2/15/2010 13:17 Improper use of power strip 0 0 $2,500
Powhatan II Apt. KK7 Kitchen 10/10/2010 14:33 Cooking 0 0 $24,000