Housing Inspection Program

Bates EHS conduct a two phase proactive inspection program of residential spaces to promote a safe living environment. Inspections are conducted in all on-campus, college-owned student residences.

Housing requirements are detailed in the Residential and Dining Policy here.

Phase 1 and 2 inspections are documented and reported to Student Affairs, Office of Residential Life and Health Education and Security and Campus Safety.

Phase 1 – Common Area Inspections

These inspections are necessary to ensure that hallways, stairwells, kitchens and other common areas are clear of obstructions and unsafe conditions.

During September and January (first inspection of the semester) items left in hallways and stairwells will be tagged with a warning. During all other monthly inspections, items left in hallways and stairwells will be removed.

If prohibited items or unsafe conditions are encountered during phase 1 inspections, EHS staff will confiscate and resolve the hazard immediately.

Work orders will be submitted for any areas needing attention from Facility Services as observed by EHS staff or as requested by students.

Phase 2 – Room Inspections

Each semester, every student room is inspected for fire safety violations. These inspections are necessary to ensure safe conditions are maintained in dorm rooms and college policies are followed.

Room safety inspections will be announced. Rooms that have been inspected will be tagged, so residents that were not present during the inspection will be informed of the result. Inspection results will be documented and submitted to DOS staff.

During phase 2 inspections, students may be contacted, items may be confiscated, hazards may be resolved, warnings or fines may be issued, Security may be called to investigate.

Candles

Candles (either used or unused) and incense are a serious fire hazard and strictly prohibited in any residential building. Observed candles in plain site will be confiscated and a $75 fine be assessed to the room per occurrence.

Any open flame device such as tiki lamps, oil lamps, or lanterns are also strictly prohibited and will be confiscated.

Fire Safety Equipment

All residential buildings, except overflow houses, are protected by supervised fire alarm systems, automatic sprinkler systems, fire doors, and fire extinguishers located in each building. Tampering with any component of a fire protection system is strictly prohibited and is considered a Class E crime by the State Fire Marshall’s Office. The following guidelines apply to fire safety equipment:

  • Never hang any items from sprinkler pipes or obstruct sprinkler heads
  • Never cover or obstruct any part of the fire alarm system, including smoke detectors, audio/visual devices, and activation devices (pull stations)
  • Never obstruct or tamper with fire extinguishers
  • Never obstruct any fire door and do not block a fire door in the open position if it is not designed to be held open with a magnetic device
  • Never block or obstruct a door that is designated as the location for sprinkler system or fire alarm components

Exit Paths

Exiting a building in an emergency is critical. All Bates academic and residential buildings have at least two exits. Planning prior to an emergency is strongly encouraged so that no time is lost when evacuation is required. In residential buildings the exit, exit access, and exit discharge should be free of obstructions and improper storage. This includes:

  • Never store any items in stairwells, on porches, or in halls
  • Never block exits, exit doors, or tamper with door hardware
  • Never block or wedge open a fire door
  • Keep all doors, aisles, and corridors free of obstructions (including personal items)

Electrical Safety

  • Extension Cords:  for temporary use only (less than 90 days); should be rated for the equipment used; use an extension cord that is only as long as you need to avoid trip hazards.  Thin wire, or inexpensive, extension cords are strongly discouraged.
  • Power Strips: used for low wattage devices only (i.e. computers, desk lights); high wattage devices such as kitchen appliances should be plugged directly into a wall outlet; power strips should be surge protected, always be plugged into a wall outlet, and never daisy-chained (plugged into another power strip); one power strip should be plugged into a single, duplex electrical outlet.
  • Outlet Extenders: devices that add the number of outlets to a wall outlet are not allowed unless surge protected. If surge protected, only one outlet extender may be plugged into an electrical receptacle
  • Cheater Plugs: ground reducing plugs are not allowed.  Removing the ground will elevate the risk of an electrical shock or fire.
  • Temporary Wiring: should not be run through walls, drop ceilings, under carpet, doors or partitions, and should not be hung in a way that produces strain on any part of the device.
  • Damaged Equipment: should not be used, including missing grounds (the third or round prong of a plug), damaged insulation, exposed wiring, corrosion, burn marks, or any other visible defect.
  • Water: Care should be taken when using electricity around water.

If wiring is warm or hot to the touch, unplug it immediately.  If circuit breakers are repeatedly tripping, contact Bates Facility Services immediately.  You may smell an electrical fire before you see it.  If you smell a sharp, acrid odor that is prolonged and does not dissipate contact Bates Security at 207-786-6111.

Kitchen Safety

When Cooking:

  • NEVER leave the kitchen unattended
  • NEVER place metal objects in the microwave
  • USE ONLY as much heat as needed
  • TURN OFF appliances when finished
  • Use care when heating oils or greasy foods
  • Use care when boiling water or using steam
  • Use the stovetop fan to avoid activating smoke detectors
  • MINIMIZE phone use and distractions
  • AVOID wearing loose clothes and long sleeves
  • KNOW the location of the fire extinguisher and how to use it
  • KNOW the location of the fire alarm and when to activate it

If a fire starts on the stove, activate the kitchen extinguishing system by forcefully pulling the ring in the pull station until you hear system activate.

If a fire becomes uncontrolled, activate the fire alarm and evacuate the building. 

If a minor burn occurs, apply cool (not cold) water for a minimum of 15 minutes.  If burned on the hands, face, feet, genitals, or if a serious burn occurs, contact Bates Security at 786-6111. For further information contact EHS at 786-6413.

Prohibited Items

The following items are prohibited in residential buildings:

  • Heat generating appliances: toaster, toaster ovens, hotplates, George Foreman grills, electric frying pans, portable deep fryers, crock pots, etc.
  • Candles
  • Flammable liquids: butane, propane, solvents, etc.
  • Fireworks, pyrotechnics, ammunition
  • Portable space heaters
  • Decorations hung from ceilings or blocking fire safety equipment

Evidence of Smoking

Smoking tobacco, marijuana, or using vaping products inside residential buildings, including stairwells, is strictly prohibited. Not only is it considered a serious fire hazard, but the potential for false alarms exists, which wastes the time and resources of the Lewiston Fire Department. While an odor of marijuana or a lighter on the desk may not be considered evidence of smoking in rooms, one or more of the observed situations could warrant a notification to Campus Security and the Office of Student Affairs:

  • The smell of burnt tobacco or marijuana
  • Ashtrays or items obviously used as ashtrays
  • A covered smoke detector
  • Paraphernalia, including pipes, water bongs, rolling papers, grinders, smoke maskers, etc.
  • Residue (either burnt or non-burnt) of tobacco and/or marijuana on furniture
  • Multiple lighters in plain sight or lighter fluid refill bottles
  • Burn marks on furniture, the carpet, and/or window sills
  • Used candles

This list is not exhaustive and will be updated as more situations are observed and documented.

Flammable Liquids or Solids

Flammable liquids or solids pose a serious fire hazard if not stored properly. Disposable lighters and reusable lighters are allowed in residential buildings. However, mass quantities, lighter fluid refills, or any flammable solid will be confiscated. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Zippo lighter fluid or similar
  • Propane gas used for camping or similar
  • Flammable stains, varnishes, and paints
  • Gasoline used for any purpose
  • Pyrotechnics or fireworks in any form
  • Ammunition
  • Charcoal