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Welcome to the CUA Campus Fire-Life Safety Site

For Students

Guidance and resources for Fire Safe living on and off campus.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall and Safety Hazard

 For Parents

Review our comprehensive campus Fire Safety Program.

 For Faculty & Researchers

Access chemical safety information on flammable and combustible liquids.

For Staff

Fire Safety training resources and requirements.

For Contractors

Access contractor safety requirements in our online Contractor Safety Guide.

For Visitors

New to our Campus? We want to ensure you have a safe stay and learn what to do if an emergency arises.

 Spot Light:

CUA Saturday "Good Fire" October 15, 2016

Plenty of good fun was had by all. OCA, Res-Life Assistants, DPS, EHS, Students, Grounds Staff and visitors were treated well and partook of hot chocolate, hot apple cider, music, dancing, tasty snacks- all this topped by accolades and gifts for Freshman Students who completed special assignments.

I know these folks can get down... more importantly, I believe they have the capacity to get back up!!! 2020!!!!



CCFS Lifetime Member, Shawn Simons, speaks with NBC reporter Sarah Wallace about the disappointment of more states not making fire sprinklers mandatory on college campuses. WATCH VIDEO  | MORE ABOUT SHAWN & AL

Breaking News 

Reed College Student Critically Injured in Off-Campus Fire Passes away - KATU 2/09/2017 7:58 AM

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17 Years After Seton Hall Fire, Feds Announce Campus Safety Bill - 1/30/2017 11:19 AM

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Southern Illinois University Student Succumbs in Carbondale House Fire 11/28/2016 1:28 PM

NBC Chicago reports on this this incident.

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NY Purchase College Experiences a 4 Alarm Fire with No Fatalities and No Reports of Injury

FIREHOUSE.COM NEWS reports on an incident which occured during the early morning hours on Sunday September 4, 2016.

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More Than a Dozen Escape OSU Campus Area House Fire

An off campus house fire breaks out in the early morning hours.

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3/25/ 2016 10:41 AM

The Boston Globe Reports on Three Alarm Fire at BU

This breaking news report chronicals the activity of city fire fighters responding to a fire occuring at the Boston University radio station just prior to normal business hours. 

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2/16/2016 12:56 PM

Residence hall fire at Kent State University extinguished by sprinkler system

Kent, OH - Someone set fire to a billboard Friday in a Kent State University residence hall, according to a bulletin sent out by the university. The Kent Fire Department responded to a second-floor hallway in Centennial Court A around 1:40 p.m. A sprinkler system had extinguished the fire. Water caused minimal damage...

Full Story

CUA Fire Extinguisher Training

 University Staff and Faculty Participate in 2016 Annual Fire Extinguisher Training:



As you can tell from the link below, EHS has an ongoing partnership with our Housing Services Department, Resident Life Programs and local safety officials. We also participate in the CUA Off-campus housing fair each spring semester.

Please refer to the following link for more details on  the fair and dedicated Housing Services Staff. 

Too frequently students and parents a-like fail to properly investigate off campus dwellings. There are a few simple measures that can be taken to help ensure better safety outcomes: 1) insist on sprinklered residences with at least 2 ways out, hardwired smoke detectors and, integrated fire Alarm systems for apartment buildings; 2) At the very least single rooms or existing houses should be equipped with hardwire smoke alarms which are interconnected throughout the building; 3) Verify that each dwelling is legally sanctioned by the municipality or agency responsible for the issuance of Rental licenses or Property Leases; 4) Check with the local Building Authority and Fire Marshal to determine what kind of track record your potential landlord has; 5) Always read your lease and know your rights; 6) Exercise good judgment; 7) Not sure? ASK!!! 

Take the time to follow this link for ED Comeau's Campus Fire Watch and FireHouse Magazine's article by Susan Nichol

See Heart-rending Personal Testimonies

National Fire Protection Association Off Campus Checklist

The NFPA has developed a safety checklist for students seeking off campus housing accommodations. Follow this link 

The following provides information specifically for off-campus housing related issues. We will be adding additional topics and supporting resource links in the future. If you have questions regarding health or safety issues that are not currently posted here, please email us at and a staff member will contact you. You can also check out our "About Us" page for specific staff members' contact information.

CUA's Office of Housing Services has an Off-Campus Housing Resource Center devoted to issues and information specifically for students living in, or moving into, off-campus housing. 

  Fire Safety Tips

Over 85% of all campus related fire deaths occur in off-campus housing. With that in mind, consider the following safety tips and information when living off-campus: 

Tips for Avoiding Off-Campus Housing Fires

  • Make sure there are working smoke alarms  in all sleeping areas and hallways, stairwells, etc. Test the alarm to make sure it is working. If the dwelling does not have a smoke alarm, contact the DC Office of the Fire Marshal at 202-727-1600 to report no smoke alarm, or any fire code violation.
  • Know two ways out of every room. Make sure all windows will open. If bars are installed on the windows they must be releasable, or removable, from the inside. This must be accomplished without the use of a key, tool or force greater than that which is required for normal operation of the window.
  • Have and practice an escape plan, and make sure all occupants understand. Have a common meeting point outside the dwelling. DO NOT re-enter the building once you have left. If you must leave your meeting area for any reason, ensure that the other residents know that you are out of the building and safe.
  • If your home uses gas or oil burning appliances (heating units, ovens, etc.) a Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm should be installed to alert residents to dangerous carbon monoxide levels.
  • Keep candles  away from flammable items and never leave one burning unattended.
  • Don’t overload extension cords and only used UL approved extension cords and power strips. Don’t "daisy chain" multiple power strips together (plug one into another).
  • Keep a UL-listed multipurpose fire extinguisher  in the home (Class ABC). Extinguishers should be mounted near an exit to avoid having to pass a fire in order to get to the extinguisher or exit the room/building. In an apartment, an extinguisher should be mounted in a cabinet or mounted on the wall in the hallway. Make sure extinguishers have a current inspection (commercial) or are not expired (in date) and fully charged.
  • If you use a space heater make sure it is UL approved and is not operating too close to combustible items including bedding and clothing. Maintain a minimum of 3 feet of clearance around space heaters when in use. Use only electric, or oil-filled electric heaters. Kerosene heaters are illegal to use in the District of Columbia.
  • The CUA Campus is a "Smoke Free" campus,but If you smoke (not within 25 feet of campus buildings) make sure all cigarettes are placed into ashtrays. Before dumping ashtrays, pour small amount of water to cover all smoking materials.
  • If your home has a fireplace, make sure all ashes are cleaned and place in approved containers.
  • Never put ashes in paper bags or dispose of close to dwellings.


Campus Fire Watch and the Center for Campus Fire Safety 

One national resource we use is the Minger Foundation  founded after the death of Michael Minger in 1998 due to an arson fire at Murray State University in Kentucky. The foundation is a leading free resource and advocate for campus fire safety. It is user friendly and provides numerous tools from local and national sources as well as legislative initiatives.

Campus Firewatch is a great resource we find helpful in informing both parents and students about practicable application of safety principal and legislative measures impacting their lives.

Campus Firewatch started out as a monthly, electronic newsletter focusing on the complex issues of campus fire safety. In publication since May 2000, it is read by campus fire officers, state and local fire officials, insurance professionals, equipment manufacturers and all 50 state fire marshals and their staff. it provides a similar service much as The Minger Foundation, however, the leadership possesses extensive practicable fire service experience and is dedicated to improving overall application of fire and life-safety principles. Its founder ED Comeau states its current capacity is most like..."a social enterprise where, with the help of a lot of people and organizations, we are working to improve fire safety at schools and in the communities..."  

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Campus Fire Watch's Ed Comeau and the Minger Foundation additional resources have been identified for fire safety instruction of university Resident Assistants (RA'S). Follow the links below:

9-Fires excerpt from the Minger Foundation Website

...There has been an overwhelming response to the release in October, which is why it is now being made available for free download, besides streaming, and in three segments, which allows for more versatility in using the documentary during student training and education.

"I am amazed at the reception we have had for this documentary," said Gail Minger, president of the Michael H. Minger Foundation.  "We were able to produce it in a very short time because of very generous donations, and by making it available for download, we hope to expand our message about campus fire safety even farther."
The full documentary and the three segments are available for viewing online and download at
The Michael H. Minger Foundation was formed after the death of Michael in a residence hall fire. The foundation focuses on fire safety on our nation’s campuses with an emphasis on fire safety for students with disabilities.  For more information go to or

Campus Firewatch Provides Updated Fire Information related to Incidents at Higher Education Communities

Follow the link below:

Michael H. Minger Foundation | PO Box 721 | Niceville, FL  32588 | 850-621-5161 | Twitter @mhminger |

In addition to these resources, EHS conducts  Annual Fire Safety Trainng for designated Staff and Faculty. New and Transfer Students. RA's,  and support staff are encouraged to review EHS Safety Training via the university Blackboard Online Learning.   


About The Center for Campus Fire Safety

  The Center for Campus Fire Safety (The Center or CCFS ) is a non-profit, membership based, organization devoted to reducing the loss of life from fire at our nation's campuses. The Center serves as the focal point for the efforts of several organizations and also as a clearinghouse for information relating to campus fire and life safety. We also hold membership status with this organization. You will find breaking news and associated articles from there on this web page.

The Center for Campus Fire Safety has been documenting specific campus related fires deaths since Year 2000.  Current and more detailed statistics, along with the definition of how “campus related fires” are tracked can be located in via the lnks provided below. There are a host of fire safety resources and tips for fire safety professionals and students in both universitie and off-campus housing. The heart and soul of CCFS focuses on vigilance, education, and advocacy for anyone associated with campus life & higher education.You are encouraged to review and use these resources often.To learn more about The Center and its programs, visit

For additional information:

Fire Fatality Statistics and Definition:
Continuous e-news -campus fire & safety:
Campus Fire Safety Resources:

Media Contacts
                The Center for Campus Fire Safety | 978.961.0410                  Michael J. Swain,
Cathy Tabor, Director of Marketing Communications,  

Promoting the safety and welfare of others is conducive to the successful achievement of everyone, so let's stay involved. 

Looking for a little Inspiration???

Got just the thing for ya!! This is somewhat a departure from our usual fare here, but, change can be a good thing. Please follow the link to Fun with Nuns 

Are you Ready for The Next Generation?? There's one thing better than a little inspiration and that's more... Fun with Nuns II

Important Links to University Resources

Here is a general listing of essential resources. Follow the links below for access:

Quarterly Fire Protection Inspection Testing and Maintenence

Our next Quarterly Inspections for 2017 Fire Protection Systems (ITM) and procedures will take place during the latter part of the month of February.

Environmental Health and Safety, Baltimore Fire Protection and Equipment International, Facilities Maintenance Operations and our Department of Public Safety assist discreetly as possible in this endeavor.

As always this fundamental safety activity may only be accomplished with the support and participation of every aspect of our Campus Community. We appreciate your Excellent Spirit!!! Thank you for your cooperation and please direct any concerns to EHS at ext. 6112 or 


Environmental Health and Safety, partnering with our Department of Public Safety, Facilities Maintenance and Operations, and other dedicated personnel- will continually conduct the "Emergency Evacuation (Fire) Drills." Our objective is to maintain compliance with all local DC and International ordinances. The university routinely performs these drill procedures as required by local, federal, and international mandates. Environmental Health and Safety in also in conjunction with Facilities Maintenance/Operations, Res-Life, Housing, and Faculty, help to ensure the university remains in compliance with both university policy, related safety requirements, regulations, and best practices.

This activity is a controlled function purposed to facilitate our approved Emergency Response Plan (ERP) and may entail various types of emergency responses including Evacuation, Shelter in Place, and Active Shooter Drills.

In addition to the use of fire alarm notification devices. The university utilizes other measures to get the message out as well. You may receive instructions via designated staff, the university mass communication "Blue Light” system, emails, DC Alerts, digital message boards, phones, and even social media with oversight from CUA administrators.

Once again, because drills are controlled activities, advanced notification will generally be limited on a need to know basis. Also from time to time there are occasions where local and federal officials may assist with particular operations. 

As always we rely upon the support of our campus community and the Brookland area proper to conduct these exercises. Our objective is the promotion of a more beneficial safety culture here so... "Be Prepared."

EHS Department Engages in on going Facility Safety Inspections

Members of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety and Facilities Maintenance are continually conducting  campus Facility Safety Inspections for university academic and administrative halls. These procedures are not intended to be an exhaustive review of all possible unsafe conditions.

Members of the University community should promptly report unsafe conditions to Facilities, their Building Administrators, immediate supervisors,  and, or to EHS. 

Our intent is to uphold compliance standards as noted in CUA/EHS Environmental Safety Handbook, Catholic University policy and “Best Practices.” All listed violations are subject to current DC Municipal Regulations, International Code Council, DOT, DDOE, EPA, NFPA, OSHA Standards, and applicable State/Local/Federal Standards. Should you need clarification please contact (EH&S) at xts. 6112, 5500 or refer to the Environmental Health and Safety website (EHS.CUA.EDU).

How to Prepare for and Conduct Yourself during an Inspection  

  • Housekeeping, housekeeping, housekeeping. Appearances do matter.  If things look good, there is less temptation to look further. 
  • If you are required by regulations to do inspections or keep records, make sure they are organized and readily available. 
  • Be courteous to the inspector. 
  • Answer all questions truthfully. 
  • Do not argue with the inspector. 
  • Do not downplay the regulations and their importance.  

An Environmental Health and Safety staff member will escort all regulators, however,  Building Administrators or designees are welcome to accompany the inspection team and encouraged to forward this information to the staff members throughout their buildings.  

Please contact EHS at ext. 5500 or the Facilities Service Center (ext. 5121) if you have questions or concerns.   

The US Fire Administration's Fire Prevention Tips for Higher Education & Residential Properties

For quite sometime now the Media and Publications arm of the United States Fire Administration has continually provided their expertise to promote good basic Fire Safety practices. The normal focus for these notifications are for the general public welfare. Clearly this information can be applied to university settings as well. Here are some helpful tips to avoid common causes of fire. Follow the link below:

Safety Reminders  


CUA Rave Guardian Personal Safety Initiative

A recent change impacting how phone services -particularly how cell phone service can be enhanced to make emergency response times more efficient. This technology could be of interest to colleges and universities situated in urban communities.The tool and instructions are available at the Department of Public Safety Web page. Students may register for this initiative free of expense. For more information follow the link Rave Guardian 

Time to develop your personal escape plans

FEMA The Federal Emergency Agency/US Fire Administration has provided  a great escape plan for residential dwellings. If you have not given this consideration you will find this simple and straight forward video (follow the link above) a wonderful resource. 

To learn more about The Catholic University of America's specific Emergency Response Plan please follow this link (How We Manage Emergencies) to the Public Safety Website.  

The National Fire Protection Association

This organization has been at the forefront of Fire Safety Awareness in this country and Internationally for quite some time. In addition to it's far reaching impact upon national fire code regulations, standards and codes- NFPA also champions the cause of Public Fire Safety Education.  

 Senator Frank Lautenberg Passes Away at 89 years of age. 

CBS News

Senator Frank Lautenberg Passes Away at eighty-nine. He has been an unwavering advocate for campus fire safety issues and sponsor of the Campus Fire Safety Education Act of 2013, in addition to being instrumental in passage of the provisions of the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know legislation in 2008.New Jersey Sen. Lautenberg dead at 89KTVLall 746 news articles »

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