Living On-Campus

DU dormitories and apartments meet all requirements set forth by Denver Fire Code and National Fire Protection Association guidelines. Left alone, they are safe and at low risk for catching fire. What you do in your room or apartment or in common spaces of the building can make a big difference. Most dorm fires start in students' rooms or common cooking areas. In apartments, the kitchen is usually to blame. Among the common causes of fires in rooms are open flames, overloaded electrical equipment and smoking. You can help prevent fires in your dorm and stay safe by using common sense and following our guidelines below.

  • Open Flames
    • Open flames in residence halls are strictly prohibited by University of Denver policy and Denver Fire Code. The following are a few examples of open flames that are not allowed:
      • Candles
      • Smoking implements (cigarettes, hookahs, lighters, matches, etc.)
      • Gas cooking devices (propane grills, camp stoves, etc.)
      • Sterno
  • Cooking
    • Most fires in the United States begin in the kitchen as a result of cooking. Please protect yourself by following these guidelines:
      • Cook only in designated kitchen areas.
      • Do not use stoves or cookware that are messy, dirty or excessively greasy until they are properly cleaned.
      • When using electric cooking appliances (microwaves, kettles, toasters, etc.), do not overload the circuit.
      • NEVER leave food cooking unattended.
      • Before starting, be sure that a fire extinguisher suitable for electrical and grease fires is nearby.
      • Be sure to turn off all appliances when finished and before leaving the kitchen area.
      • If a fire starts, contain it by closing the door of the oven or microwave or putting the lid on the pan. Pull the fire alarm. Use a fire extinguisher if you know how and have one suitable for the type of fire. If your firefighting efforts fail, evacuate immediately.
  • Fire Inspections
    • As part of the ongoing fire prevention initiatives in the City of Denver, our office works with University departments and the Denver Fire Department to perform annual fire inspections in all buildings on campus. Firefighters from the local fire station or inspectors from the Fire Prevention and Hazardous Materials Division will visit each building accompanied by Campus Safety and other University personnel at least once per year to ensure compliance with Denver Fire Code and good life safety practices. Any deficiencies found during these inspections will be remedied by Facilities, Housing or Campus Safety personnel by order of the Denver Fire Department.
    • Fire alarms in residence halls are inspected annually to ensure proper functioning under normal conditions. These inspections are performed by Campus Safety Alarm Technicians or by private contractors through agreements with DCS.
Sunset on campus

Fire Drills

  • DU policy and Denver Fire Code require that all residence halls have a fire evacuation drill three times per year. These drills are performed during the fall, winter and spring academic quarters. During a fire drill, representatives from DCS are looking for the following things:
    • All people have evacuated the building
    • All doors and windows are closed
    • All halls, stairwells, fire system components, and walkways are clear and accessible
    • Elevators are bypassed in favor of stairs
    • All people have moved at least 50 feet from the building (walls and doors; 50 feet from an entrance is not the same as 50 feet from the building)
    • The building is evacuated in a reasonable amount of time
  • Upon inspection of the building, representatives from DCS will cite the building for more than one open door or window; failure to evacuate without an order to do so by a Campus Safety official; objects in halls or stairwells; any fire hazards that are contrary to Denver Fire Code or University of Denver life safety policies.
  • Should a building fail a fire drill, a remediation fire drill will be held within 7 days following a report of deficiencies to Housing and Residential Education. Should a building fail a remediation drill, our office may take any number of steps, including, but not limited to, a second remediation drill during the overnight or early morning hours.
Drone view of campus


  • It is important to be familiar with your evacuation routes before a fire. Whenever you move into a new building, take note of the two nearest exits to your room. You should always have two ways out of your building. It is natural to use only one way in and out of your building, particularly when you take the elevator to an upper floor. Familiarize yourself with the stairwells and where they lead before an evacuation is necessary.
  • When you hear a fire alarm or see flashing fire strobes, evacuate the building immediately!
  • Remember:
  • Use stairs; DO NOT use elevators
  • Walk; DO NOT run
  • Move 50 feet from the building once outside
  • There is no such thing as a "false alarm" evacuation is mandatory and sensible whenever the fire alarm is activated
  • Failure to evacuate during a fire alarm may result in disciplinary action, fine, injury, or death