Section: Environmental Health and Life Safety
Area: Fire and Life Safety
I. PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The purpose of the Fire and Life Safety Code is to protect the University of Houston, faculty, staff, students, and visitors from injury and/or loss of property or life from fire.
The Fire and Life Safety Code applies to the entire University of Houston campus, regardless of funding source, and to faculty, employees, vendors, students, and contractors while on university property.
II. POLICY STATEMENT
The Texas Legislature requires all state agencies to use the Fire and Life Safety standards set out in NFPA 101 , NFPA1 , and mandatory references as stated in each code and has given the State Fire Marshal's Office authority for enforcement. In turn, the State Fire Marshal's Office recognizes the University of Houston Fire Marshal's Office as the Local Authority Having Jurisdiction to enforce NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and NFPA 1 Fire Code . The University of Houston hereby adopts the current NFPA 1 Fire Code and NFPA 101 Life Safety Code as the "University of Houston Fire and Life Safety Code."
University of Houston Campus Safety is committed to the preservation of life and property through a comprehensive, viable Fire and Life Safety Code. Fire safety in higher educational facilities warrants special attention. Special efforts must be made to reduce the need for evacuating a building. Higher educational facilities must rely on superior construction, fire prevention, early discovery, and extinguishment of incipient fires with prompt, efficient response to all suspected fire emergencies.
The University of Houston Fire and Life Safety Code will emphasize prevention and whenever possible, superior design and construction of facilities. Fire prevention will be accomplished by maintaining compliance with the University's Fire and Life Safety Code and through the establishment of good fire and life safety work habits at the university. The administration of the University of Houston is committed to this Fire and Life Safety Code as a means to prevent the loss of life and, injuries and reduce property losses, which may occur when fire strikes.
A. Authority Having Jurisdiction: The Texas State Fire Marshal's Office is recognized by the Texas Legislature as the agency responsible for "approving" equipment, an installation, or a procedure regarding compliance with the Fire and Life Safety Code.
B. Fire Codes: Local, state, or consensus regulations related to fire protection and prevention.
C. Fire Marshal: An employee of University of Houston Campus Safety, Environmental Health and Life Safety (EHLS), who has been empowered to manage the fire prevention and protection program. The Fire Marshal is empowered to act for the Assistant Vice President for Campus Safety in all matters related to fire safety and life safety.
D. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): An international voluntary organization to promote fire protection and establish safeguards against loss of life and property.
E. Local Authority Having Jurisdiction (LAHJ): The UH Fire Marshal's Office is recognized by the State Fire Marshal's Office as the office responsible for "approving" equipment, an installation, or a procedure regarding compliance with the Fire and Life Safety Code for all areas of the University of Houston Campus.
F. University of Houston Campus – All areas of the University of Houston, including areas that are not adjacent to the main campus, such as the UH Technology Bridge (formerly known as the Energy Research Park), UH Sugar Land, and UH Katy.
A. Prevent the number of fire-related incidents and injuries on the University of Houston campus.
B. Ensure that proper fire and life safety practices are conducted on campus.
C. Ensure compliance with sound fire safety practices through a comprehensive inspection program.
D. Provide on-going fire safety education to faculty, staff, and students.
E. Provide state-of-the-art information from the national code or standard making agencies concerning fire and life safety.
F. Provide fire and life safety expertise relevant to the development of evacuation plans.
G. Ensures that renovation projects and new construction meet national standards of NFPA and practices for fire and life safety through the use of this MAPP.
The University of Houston Fire Marshal, acts as the Local Authority Having Jurisdiction in matters concerning fire and life safety. The EHLS Fire Marshal's Office is responsible for implementation of all aspects of the Fire and Life Safety Code, for maintaining compliance with all codes and standards applicable to fire and life safety, and for establishing good fire safety work practices at the university.
A. University Fire Marshal Responsibilities
1. Fulfills the role of university Fire Marshal and provides ex-officio representation to the appropriate safety committee(s). The Fire Marshal informs the committee in matters concerning fire and life safety and recommends appropriate action as required.
2. Provides fire safety training in the proper use of portable fire extinguishers, fire safety work practices, and response to suspected fire emergencies.
3. Provides expertise and assistance in the development of evacuation plans and conducts evacuation drills as required.
4. Reviews all plans and specifications for renovation projects and new construction for fire and life safety concerns and NFPA codes.
5. Serves as the Local Authority Having Jurisdiction in all fire and life safety issues.
6. Inspects all university facilities (owned and leased) for fire and life safety concerns and provides code reference to violations and corrective action follow-up in those areas requiring attention.
7. Inspects and maintains all fire extinguishers with the exception of specialty extinguishers on university property.
8. Inspects and maintains all fire hoses on university property.
9. Advises departments, colleges, agencies, and other university entities as to the requirements relevant to fixed extinguishing systems which are part of their operations.
10. Observes Facilities Maintenance groups in the periodic maintenance testing of all fire pumps, sprinkler systems, smoke and heat detectors, fire alarm systems, and fire hydrants.
11. Serves as the university liaison to the Houston Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal's Office.
12. Provides general evacuation procedures and assists colleges and departments in the development of more specific procedures.
13. Serves as the university liaison in working with the insurance carriers' engineering representatives in fire protection matters.
14. Issues permits for welding and cutting and dust production operations on campus.
15. Issues permits for the use of temporary open flame devices.
16. Issues permits for tent installations on tent(s) larger than 10'X10' on campus.
17. Issues permits for the temporary impairment of fire protection systems.
18. Issues permits for the installation of fire protection systems.
19. Issues permits for renovation and new construction as a building permit.
20. Investigates the cause and origin of all fires which occur on university property and reports all fires to the State Fire Marshal's Office in a timely manner.
21. Observes all fire drills on campus and addresses any concerns witnessed by faculty, staff, students, and visitors.
22. Issues Certificates of Occupancy for all renovation projects and new construction with regard to fire and life safety.
23. Conducts inspections of renovation projects and new construction for fire code compliance.
24. Witnesses all tests concerning fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, new water lines and any new construction, renovations or repairs that has a responsibility to a NFPA standard.
25. Assists with Environmental Health and Life Safety (EHLS) Lab personnel with inspections of laboratories that contain flammable and combustible chemicals in accordance with NFPA 45.
B. Facilities/Construction Management Responsibilities
1. Ensures that all construction plans, specification documents, contractors, and construction projects adhere to all codes adopted by the State Fire Marshal and all University of Houston Master Specifications as they pertain to fire and general life safety.
2. Provides plans and specifications concerning renovation projects and new construction to the UH Fire Marshal for review, comment, and approval of Fire and Life Safety.
3. To maintain all sections of the Master Construction Specifications that deals with any fire code or standards. The Fire Marshal's Office shall be consulted before any changes are made to the Master Construction Specifications with regards to fire-related equipment, or any standards that has a fire concern.
4. Ensures fire protection systems are maintained and the maintenance work is documented either by Facilities Maintenance personnel or by an outside vendor.
5. Provides the university Fire Marshal copies of all documents related to maintenance of fire protection systems.
6. Ensures Facilities Maintenance staff is appropriately trained to:
a. Assist the Fire Department in case of fire; and
b. Perform required preventative maintenance on fire equipment systems.
c. Maintain buildings that comply with fire code requirements.
d. Correct any fire code violation found in a building within a reasonable time period.
C. Unit Management Responsibilities
1. Ensures employees are provided the necessary training and instruction in maintaining documentation.
2. Enforces all University of Houston policies and procedures.
3. Takes appropriate action on all reported fire and life safety complaints. If the complaint cannot be resolved in the department, forwards the complaint to the EHLS Fire Marshal's Office.
4. Auxiliary groups including, but not limited to, Student Housing and Residential Life, the Student Center, the Hilton Hotel, and the Athletics Department shall participate in university programs established for the maintenance of fire protection equipment. Contracted services must be pre-approved by EHLS Fire Marshal's Office. Documentation of contracted services and work performed must be provided to the EHLS Fire Marshal's Office.
D. Individual Responsibilities
1. All employees will acquaint themselves with policies and procedures related to fire protection and prevention.
2. All students, faculty, employees, visitors, vendors, and contractors will abide by the University of Houston fire safety policies and procedures and the university Fire and Life Safety Code.
3. Employees and students should report suspected code violations or other unsafe conditions to their immediate supervisor; if not possible, please notify the EHLS Fire Marshal's Office at 713-743-5858.
NFPA 1 Fire Code, and mandated references, most recent edition as applicable
NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, and mandated references, most recent edition as applicable
Last Reviewed/Revised: 05/17/2019
Responsible Office(s): Campus Safety