With regard to fire safety, Birmingham-Southern College takes a comprehensive
and proactive approach to ensuring the safety of its campus residents. Those
efforts are based on a philosophy that results in the College exceeding in
many cases what is required nationally, and locally, in this area. The Campus
Police Department has a designated officer in the role of Fire Marshal whose
responsibility it is to work closely with the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service (BF
and RS) in the area of inspections and compliance of national fire standards, and
to maintain campus fire systems.
All campus residential buildings have high quality fire alarm systems that are
monitored by an off campus UE approved monitoring facility that reports to
the BF and RS, and the Campus Police, immediately upon the activation of a
fire system. On an annual basis, all campus systems are inspected by a certified
outside contractor, and routinely by the BF and RS Inspection Services Division.
Action items found during these inspections are immediately addressed. On a
weekly basis, the system in each residence hall is checked in person by an officer
to visually ensure that the system is working properly. Also on an annual basis, all
fire extinguishers are inspected and re-certified by an outside contractor.
Fire drills are conducted a minimum of three times annually (Fall, Spring,
Summer). The drills are a joint effort of the BSC Fire Marshal, the Director of
Residence Life, and Residence Life Staff. When one or any of those conducting
the drills feel that the response was slow or inefficient, that building undergoes
subsequent drills until the response is satisfactory. During the drills, complete
evacuation of the building is required.
BSC requires each student that wishes to live in on-campus housing to read and
sign a housing contract that includes specific rules and regulations concerning fire
safety. Open flames (candles, etc.), certain portable electrical devices, and smoking
are examples of items not allowed within the residence halls. A complete list of
allowable items can be viewed at
Throughout the year, fire safety programming is conducted by the Campus Police
and the Office of Residence Life.
Fire Safety Tips
• Familiarize yourself with building exits and fire extinguisher locations
• When the fire alarm sounds, leave the building immediately
• If a fire is small and containable, immediately activate the building fire alarm if
it is not sounding, and use a fire extinguisher directing the spray at the base of
• If your exit route contains heavy smoke, stay close to the floor
• If you become trapped in a room, hang something out the window to alert
rescue personnel as to your whereabouts
• Never prop doors open in residence hall hallways or in individual rooms