It is our mission to manage and reduce fire-related emergencies at the University through oversight, fire and life safety inspections, and education. Many such emergencies are caused by a lack of knowledge in fire safety and fire prevention. As a valued member of our UT Dallas Community, we strive to empower you to recognize and mitigate fire risks where you learn and live.

Quick Services

Learn More about Fire & Life Safety

Reduce the Risk of Fire

Hot Work Permit Request

Jobs like electric arc welding, brazing, gas soldering, and oxygen-acetylene cutting and welding require hot work permits be issued by the Fire and Life Safety team before work begins. Permits are issued for a specific job, for a specific time frame, to a specific person. The hot work permit must be approved before work begins.

Flammable and Combustible Liquids

Learn the risks posed by flammable and combustible chemicals you use, and take appropriate precautions:

  • Use chemicals from properly-labeled containers, following the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for hazard communication.
  • Always carry, store, and dispense flammable and combustible liquids using safety cans or other approved containers. Keep containers of flammable and combustible chemicals tightly closed when not in use.
  • Choose the least hazardous materials that can do the job effectively and safely. When possible, substitute less flammable or nonflammable materials.
  • Use flammable liquids in a well ventilated area, or under a fume hood in laboratory settings.
  • Never store flammable gas cylinders inside of a fume hood, or in unsecured work areas. These gasses should be placed in specially designed gas cabinets or designated storage locations.
  • Use special care when handling liquids with flash points below 100°F / 38°C. Contact the Safety team for additional guidance.
  • Avoid placing ignition sources such as flames, sparking equipment, and hot materials near flammable liquids. Replace open flames with properly grounded electric heating devices whenever possible.
  • Develop and follow material-specific safe handling procedures for use of flammable compressed gasses. Consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) associated with each gas to learn about special fire hazards presented by these compounds.
  • Ground any equipment that can produce a static spark.
  • Store and dispose of flammable and combustible waste liquids in accordance with University policies for hazardous waste disposal.

Store flammable or combustible liquids (including waste solvents in quantities over ten gallons) inside University-approved flammable liquid storage cabinets. Place these cabinets where they can’t obstruct your exit in an emergency.

Do not modify safety cans.

They are specially constructed to make both dispensing chemicals and collecting waste much safer: Safety cans are built from stainless steel or tin. Both the filling and pouring spouts are protected with a spring-loaded cap and a flame arrestor. The double-perforated surface of the arrestor keeps flames from entering the can.

When you must refrigerate highly flammable or shock sensitive materials, store flammable liquids and explosives inside University-approved refrigerators designed for this purpose. Clearly identify such refrigerators using approved labels.

Other Resources

Fire Extinguisher Training

Classroom/Hands-On Training

Often your best option in a fire is to just evacuate and call for help, but sometimes using a fire extinguisher is a good option. Fire & Life Safety offers fire extinguisher training. Our class teaches:

  • How to decide whether using a fire extinguisher is the right option.
  • What type of fire extinguisher to use against different types of fires.
  • How to properly use a fire extinguisher.

If you are registered in our BioRAFT database, you can sign up for fire extinguisher training here BioRAFT Fire Extinguisher Hands-On Training

Please contact the Fire & Life Safety team to schedule a training session for your group.

Self-Paced Training

Building Inspections

The Fire & Life Safety team is responsible for inspecting all University buildings to ensure they comply with applicable fire safety codes and life safety codes. Fire & Life Safety notifies the responsible department when violations are identified, so corrective actions can be implemented. Along with the University Police, we investigate any fire that happens on campus, both to discover its cause and to determine how it can be prevented from happening again.

You can help keep your building safe by staying aware of hazards such as:

  • Improper use of extension cords and power strips (daisy-chaining).
  • Use of unapproved electrical devices, space heaters, or open flames.
  • Improper storage of flammable materials.
  • Blocked aisles, exits, and use of corridors for storage.
  • Damage to fire barriers (walls) or missing ceiling tiles.
  • Obstructed fire sprinkler heads (storage of items within 18″).
  • Blocked access to fire extinguishers (maintain 3′ clear on all sides)

Please contact the Fire & Life Safety team when:

  • You have any questions about the fire safety or life safety of your building.
  • There has been a fire in your work area and we (or the University Police) have not yet investigated it.
  • You notice anyone creating a fire hazard or life safety hazard, e.g.: setting fires, tampering with fire alarms, etc… (You can also contact the University Police).
  • You have any questions on this topic or need training on this topic.
Design Review

Facilities Management (FM), Safety, and each University department are responsible for ensuring that every facility at UT Dallas complies with applicable design, construction, and remodeling safety codes for that type of facility (e.g.: dormitory, laboratory, lecture hall, etc.). Design review teams carry out inspections, review plans, and communicate with both regulators and University officials to make sure we have safe facilities.

Designs

In the design stage, every area of a facility must be given an occupancy classification consistent with how it will be used. This ensures that a facility will be constructed with all the features it needs to be compliant with the safety codes for its class. Such features may include:

  • Fire separation walls, floors, ceilings, and doors.
  • Fire alarm systems.
  • Fire suppression systems and fire dampers.
  • Illuminated exit signs and emergency lighting.
  • Emergency showers and eye washes.

Please contact the Fire & Life Safety team at the design stage if you need to change the way any area in your facility will be used, as such changes require our approval.

Estimates

Facilities Management (FM) provides estimates for both remodeling and construction projects. FM coordinates with Safety on every project to review its compliance with federal, state, and local codes and regulations that apply to life safety.

Modifications

When a project encounters a practical difficulty in carrying out the letter of a code, regulation, or standard; FM/Safety may allow for a modification on a case-by-case basis, so long as the intent and purpose of that standard is maintained. No modifications that lessen a structure’s fire-protection or structural integrity will be allowed. All modifications will be documented in the FM/Safety project file.

Fire Alarm Systems

Specifications

The University fire alarm system is continuously monitored by a Tyco SimplexGrinnell information management system (IMS). This IMS operates on a fiber optic loop connected to building fire panels on the Richardson campus. All 52 of UTD’s buildings have primary reporting to the University Police, and secondary reporting to Fire & Life Safety. 46 of 52 buildings have a Class A reporting loop for redundancy via a Simplex Grinnnell IMS fire system network. 6 of 52 buildings have Class B reporting via class B fiber optics or a Digital Alarm Communication Transmitter ƔDACT), due to non-network hardware or distance constraints (south campus). Fire & Life Safety oversees over 25,000 alarm initiating and indicating devices, over 1,000 portable fire extinguishers, and 38 buildings with fire sprinkler systems, as well as 14 special hazard systems.

Resources

Sprinkler System

Fire sprinklers are an important part of the fire protection system in all University buildings. They are sensitive to rising temperatures, and when triggered, spread water to both suppress a fire and keep it from spreading, as well as activating the fire alarm. Water from our fire sprinklers can leave behind oily stains on anything it contacts.

As with our fire alarms, our fire sprinklers are checked on a regular basis.

Fire sprinklers can be damaged when bumped, or when something is hung from the sprinkler head or sprinkler pipe. Repair costs for damaged sprinklers are paid by the responsible department.

Fire Drills

We run fire drills at least twice a year in student housing, and at least once a year for all other University buildings. Fire drills help you become familiar with:

  • The sound of a fire alarm.
  • Emergency exits.
  • Evacuation procedures.

You will be expected to treat any fire drill as if it were a real fire, and to evacuate when you hear the alarm. Once you evacuate from the building, you must stay at least 75 feet away from the building until the “all clear” is given by the campus fire authority or emergency responders.

Evacuation maps identifying the emergency exits in each building are posted by elevators and/or the main building entrance. Occupants should familiarize themselves with primary and secondary emergency exit routes on a regular basis.

Fire Log

UT Dallas maintains a log of fires that have occurred in on-campus student housing in accordance with federal regulations (34 CFR §668.49).

The UT Dallas Daily Fire Log is not a complete list of all fire events that have occurred on UT Dallas property. The following definitions apply to this fire log.

“On-campus student housing” refers only to structures containing residential occupancy for students. The UT Dallas Fire Log does not include neighborhood centers within student housing developments, campus facilities (administrative, academic, library, student life, or support) where students may overnight on a transient basis, vehicles, locations off UT Dallas property, or outdoor locations of any kind.

“On-campus student housing” consists of three developments:

  • University Commons
    • Residence Hall North
    • Residence Hall South
    • Residence Hall Northwest
    • Residence Hall Southwest
    • Residence Hall West
  • University Village
  • Canyon Creek Heights
    • Canyon Creek Heights North
    • Canyon Creek Heights South

“Fire” is “any instance of open flame or other burning in a place not intended to contain the burning or in an uncontrolled manner.” “Fire” does not include controlled burning, even when that event is contrary to policy, such as candles, smoking, or other open flames, when that open flame does not result in property damage.

Resources

Have an Exit Strategy: Students

Have an Exit Strategy: Faculty and Staff

For More Information

Review the NFPA 704 symbols – Standard System for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response

Standard System for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response

NFPA Label for Identification of Hazards of Materials

This label can help you quickly identify the risks posed by hazardous materials you may encounter when entering rooms, buildings, or designated areas areas around campus. The higher the number found in the Flammability (red), Health (blue), or Reactivity (yellow) section of the label, the higher the risk for that type of hazard. Codes and symbols in the Special Notice (white) section warn of other dangerous properties.

Flammability
Will not burn under normal conditions.
Flash point above 200°F / 93°C; Requires considerable preheating to burn.
Flash point below 200°F / 93°C; Requires moderate heating or high ambient temperatures to burn.
Flash point below 100°F / 38°C; Flammable.
Flash point below 73°F / 23°C; Highly flammable; Rapidly vaporizes under normal conditions.
Health
Not normally harmful.
Can cause irritation or inflict a minor injury.
Continued exposure can cause temporary incapacitation or inflict an injury.
Even short exposure can cause serious injury and permanent damage.
Any exposure can kill.
Reactivity
Stable when exposed to heat, pressure, and water.
Can become unstable under high heat or high pressure.
Reacts violently to either high heat, high pressure, or water.
Explodes when triggered by either high heat, severe shock, or water.
Explodes under normal conditions.
Special Notice

Oxidizer; Allows other chemicals to burn without an air supply.
Simple asphyxiant.
Reacts violently with water.
Extensions to the standard:
Radioactive
Poisonous
Biological hazard
Corrosive; Strong acid or alkaline (base)
Strong acid
Strong alkaline (base)
Cryogenic

Contact Us

  • Shane Solis,
    Shane Solis
    Director, Research and Academic Safety, 972-883-4730, RL 1.712, shane.solis@utdallas.edu, biosafety and chemical safety committee;emergencies;environmental management;fire and life safety;hazardous waste;lab access control;occupational safety and health;research and academic safety;research integrity and outreach
  • Joan Wickersheim,
    Joan Wickersheim
    Assistant Director, Research and Academic Safety, 972-883-7238, BSB 12.802, joan.wickersheim@utdallas.edu, biosafety and chemical safety committee;emergencies;fire and life safety;green-sustainable labs;occupational safety and health;research and academic safety;research integrity and outreach
  • Mark Pace,
    mark-pace
    Safety Manager, 972-883-5381, SG 1.208, mark.pace@utdallas.edu, fire and life safety;research and academic safety;research integrity and outreach
  • Jeremy Piering,
    jeremy-piering
    Safety Technician, 972-883-2797, SG 1.222, jeremy.piering@utdallas.edu, fire and life safety;research and academic safety;research integrity and outreach