Some of the student rooms in a few of the University’s residential buildings have been equipped with audible and visual (horn and strobe) warning devices to alert the student with visual or hearing impairments of an emergency situation inside the building. There are two rooms that are equipped with remote control door opening devices for students with physical challenges. When these buildings’ fire alarm systems are activated, the student’s room door automatically releases and opens. It stays open for a short period of time, then self-closes and locks. If the student is in his/her room during this activation and they need additional time to exit the room, they may use the remote to open the door.
We strongly encourage students with disabilities to pre-arrange for assistance during fire alarm evacuations, such as in a “Buddy System”, where a fellow student or faculty member would assist the student. When a person with temporary or permanent disability is located in a building on a floor above ground level when the fire alarm system is activated, the person should proceed to the nearest stairway. The stairways are considered an area of refuge and are protected by fire doors. In the case of some buildings – including all the high rise buildings on the Boston campus – the stairways are also protected by fire sprinkler systems. Elevators must never be used during a fire alarm evacuation. Once in the stairway the student or the “buddy” should call the Campus Police to alert them of their location and needs. If there is no obvious threat to life safety, the student should remain in the stairway until a member of the Campus Police or local fire department arrives. If there is an immediate threat to their life safety this must be communicated to the Campus Police who will contact the local fire department of their situation.