Fire Safety

Williams is concerned about the safety of every individual on campus and, therefore, has very strict fire safety regulations.  Students who do not observe these regulations jeopardize the safety of others on this campus and, therefore, will be subject to disciplinary action and/or fines.

State Law requires that hallways and stairways be completely clear at all times.  This means that you can not store anything in these areas (examples: shoes, clothes racks, boxes, furniture, and bicycles).  The Williamstown Building Inspector and the Williamstown Fire Chief enforce these regulations.  Items left in halls may be removed without notice and held at Facilities.

Fire and life safety programs must receive community-wide support to be effective.  Cooperation from students at fire drills, announced and unannounced, is expected.  Students who do not vacate in a timely manner are subject to disciplinary action, and to the possibility of additional drills, with the individual house responsible for all costs associated with repeated drills.

Students who misuse, tamper with or otherwise disturb fire safety equipment, including smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, pull stations, and fire doors, or remove batteries from detectors are subject to a $250 fine as well as the cost of restoring the equipment.  Students will be called into the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and will be required to view a fire safety video.  Students involved in a second offense will be fined $500 and will be referred to the Dean’s Office for disciplinary action that may result in suspension or dismissal from the College.

Candles (including those used for religious purposes), incense, and other open flame devises are not allowed in residential buildings.  Students who want to light candles for religious purposes need to see the Chaplain’s Office to make arrangements.  Cigarette lighters and matches must be used with caution.

Electrical Appliances

Examples of electrical appliances that are approved or not approved for use in dorm rooms. These are not exhaustive lists, but rather designed to give you an idea of the kinds of things that are acceptable under our fire safety regulations.

APPROVED NOT APPROVED
  • clocks
  • sound equipment
  • computers
  • electric razors
  • hair dryers
  • electric fans
  • electric blankets
  • microwave ovens 800 watts or less
  • refrigerators of 5 cubic feet or less
  • hot air corn poppers
  • col mist humidifiers
  • coffee makers
  • cooking appliances (toaster ovens, toasters, hot pots, electric frying pans, electric woks, deep fryers, rice cookers, broilers, panini presses, electric or gas stoves)
  • cup warmers
  • air conditioners
  • electric heaters
  • beer coolers or kegolators
  • any unit with a heating coil
  • floor lamps with halogen bulbs
  • any non-floor lamp with a halogen bulb over 60 watts
  • incandescent bulbs over 60 watts unless there is specific UL approval for higher wattage

Violators of any of the above policies will be fined and the item(s) will be immediately removed. The fines vary depending on the number of violations. Confiscated items will be donated to a local charity or discarded.  If a student has any questions regarding the acceptability of a particular appliance, the Office of Safety and Environmental Compliance should be contacted at x2406.

The wiring in some of the College’s older residence areas may not support heavy use of electrical appliances.  If this is a problem in a residence, the College may need to limit the use of certain appliances and will consult with the students in the residence to resolve the problem.

Room Entry and Inspections

The College reserves the right to inspect students’ rooms and the contents thereof at any time . The reasons for such entry and inspection may include, but are not limited to, conducting health and safety inspections, insuring compliance with the College’s housing policies or other rules, investigating suspected violations of those policies or rules, or acting in the interests of the safety or well-being of the occupant or others.