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Community Standards


Each Hofstra University residence hall is equipped with an interior fire alarm system with detection throughout the building, including smoke and heat detectors, and pull-box stations. All residence halls are protected with a building fire sprinkler system. Where required, some residence halls are protected by carbon monoxide detectors. All fire safety and building access systems are monitored by the Department of Public Safety, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Additional information about fire safety on campus is available in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, which can be accessed at hofstra.edu/campussafetyreport or by calling Public Safety at 516-463-6606.

Hofstra University policies relating to fire safety are in accordance with New York state law and Nassau County ordinances. Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of the members of our community, and, as such, new policies have been created and existing policies have been modified to ensure that Hofstra University provides a safe environment and is in compliance with all New York State Fire Codes and those of the Nassau County Fire Marshal's Office. Students must comply with the specific policies listed below as well as all other policies listed in The Living Factor, Hofstra University's guide to residential living. In addition, as per the current New York State Fire Code (NYSFC), information and training related to fire safety must be presented to all students enrolled in higher education on an annual basis. Any violation of these guidelines is also considered a violation of the Student Conduct Code.

  1. Door Chocking (Propping): A door leading out to a main hallway (common area), used as fire and/or smoke door, should not be chocked (propped) open, blocked or obstructed to prevent the normal self-closing operation of said door. [ref; NYSFC F-703.2]
  2. Electric Wall Outlets: All electric cords from devices must be plugged directly into a wall outlet or an approved surge protector strip. All surge protector strips must be plugged directly into the wall outlet. No extension cords are permitted in residential halls. Furniture should not obstruct a wall outlet as to prevent an electrical plug from easily being removed from the outlet (without first moving the furniture). [ref; NYSFC F-605.5]
  3. Items Suspended from Ceilings and Walls: No items shall be suspended from the ceiling or within 24" of the ceiling as to obstruct or cover lighting, smoke detectors and/or sprinkler heads. [ref; NYSFC-901.6 and 805.1 and 315.2.1] No decorative, holiday or themed lighting shall be placed/hung on or around doors or windows.
  4. Decorations: No tapestries or fabric items (including flags) shall be placed on the ceilings or walls of any room. Wall coverings may include pictures and posters, but may not exceed 50 percent of total wall space. Tapestries and/or fabric items (including doormats) shall not be placed in common areas. [ref; NYSFC304.1] No window curtains or valances are permitted to be hung in rooms/suites/apartments.
  5. Natural Cut Trees: No natural cut trees of any sort shall be erected in the common or living space of any residence hall [ref; NYSFC 804.1.1]
  6. Candles/Incense: No candles (including those used for "decoration only"), incense or anything that burns are permitted in residence halls.
  7. Smoking: Hofstra University is a smoke-free environment. There is no smoking or lighting of smoking-type products, including e-cigarettes, in any residence hall/room or facility on the Hofstra University campus.
  8. Malicious Damage/False Alarms: The alteration and/or destruction of fire safety equipment affects the safety of all members of the Hofstra community. Malicious damage to any fire safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, exit signs, fire doors, emergency lighting and/or the activation of a fire pull station (when the threat of fire is not present), is a crime, is not tolerated at Hofstra University and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
  9. Refrigerator/Microwave: Residents may bring their own refrigerator for their residence hall room or suite. The size and number of these refrigerators are limited (one per room or two per suite) due to the electrical current they draw and the limited electrical outlets in the residence hall rooms and suites. The refrigerator must be an energy-efficient model and may not exceed five (5) cubic feet in size. Any refrigerator larger than five (5) cubic feet in a residence hall room and/or suite is a violation of Residential Programs policy. Additionally, personal microwaves are prohibited in on-campus residence hall rooms and suites. The University has made arrangements with a vendor to provide both refrigerator and refrigerator/microwave rental units at competitive prices. (Visit Residential Programs website for contact information for the vendor.) Although students can purchase refrigerator/freezer units of 5.0 cubic feet or less for use in residential rooms, for safety reasons, only those refrigerator/freezer/microwave multi-units rented through a University-sanctioned vendor are permitted in on-campus residence halls.
  10. Electrical Appliances Policy: Due to safety issues, the following items are prohibited in the residence halls: hot plates, electrical skillets, toaster ovens, toasters, hot oil popcorn poppers, halogen lights, sun lamps, electric heaters, refrigerators larger than five cubic feet, microwaves, electric grills, deep fryers, coffee makers, humidifiers, multiple outlets, extension cords and any other appliances deemed by the Office of Residential Programs as being inappropriate for residence hall use. Additionally, black light bulbs in University light fixtures are prohibited. Residents of the Graduate Residence Hall are permitted to have coffee makers and toasters (NOT toaster ovens).
  11. Cooking Policy: There is a $100 fine, per appliance, for possession of prohibited cooking and/or electrical appliances in the residence halls. Any additional violation of this policy is grounds for further disciplinary action and/or fines. There are various food and beverage vending machines located in the lobbies or lounges of the residence halls. Report malfunctioning kitchen appliances or vending machines to the Resident Assistant. For refunds for vending machine purchases, follow instructions posted on the front of vending machines.

All students must comply fully with all Hofstra University fire safety regulations. Violations may result in monetary, educational, and/or conduct sanctions.

Code of Community Standards

Evacuation/Fire Alarm Procedures: Evacuation is necessary when any building's fire alarm has been activated or the building becomes uninhabitable because of an event such as a fire, flood, gas leak, contamination, pandemic flu, extreme weather conditions or the loss of critical services. The response depends on the extent of the emergency. Hofstra community members should familiarize themselves with the evacuation routes posted in the buildings they live in or use frequently. If an evacuation order is issued for a building, cooperate fully with Public Safety/emergency personnel and:

  • Don't panic. Stay calm.
  • If possible, take keys, wallets and essential belongings with you.
  • If possible, wear weather-appropriate clothing.
  • If your door feels hot, place a wet towel under it and DO NOT OPEN IT. Instead, open your window slightly, if you need air. While you await rescue, call Public Safety at x3-6789 or 911 to ascertain that they know your location. Make your presence known by waving something from your window.
  • If the hallway is filled with smoke, crouch down as low as possible (smoke rises) and hug the wall. Walls eventually lead to doors.
  • DO NOT USE ELEVATORS. USE ONLY STAIRS; elevators turn into chimneys when there is a fire and may malfunction due to heat/smoke.
  • Close, but DO NOT lock doors.
  • Provide assistance to those with physical disabilities.
  • Evacuate in a safe and orderly fashion to the nearest Evacuation Assembly Point (as determined by University personnel) and await additional instructions.
  • Move away from the building. Do not return to the building until instructed to do so by Public Safety or a residence hall staff member.
  • Find your RA or the RA on duty for the purpose of letting someone know you have safely evacuated the building.

General Evacuation Procedures: Public Safety officers will move evacuees to an Evacuation Assembly Point where University personnel will conduct a census to establish that the evacuation is complete. (Each building has been assigned an Evacuation Assembly Point; check with your RA for your building's Assembly Point.)

Evacuation of Individuals With Physical Disabilities: Public Safety officers will assist individuals with physical disabilities in an evacuation, making every attempt to lead them to safety. Hearing-impaired students have TTY phone capability in their residence hall rooms, and the fire alarm system is connected to strobe lights. If you have a disability that could impair your ability to perform any of the above:

  • Please inform Public Safety or the Services for Students with Disabilities Office of your circumstances upon arrival to campus and request a meeting to discuss any special emergency response accommodations needed.

If you are a resident student:

  • Please note that a master list of all resident students requiring assistance during a building evacuation is maintained by the Office of Residential Programs. Please contact your Resident Assistant to ensure inclusion on this list.

Any student may:

  • Call the Department of Public Safety at 516-463-6789 or call 911 and tell them where you are and what assistance is needed.
  • Notify his/her professor that assistance will be needed if an evacuation is deemed necessary.