Columbia University Medical Center's fire safety team keeps our community safe from fire. We maintain fire alarm systems, fire suppression systems, and fire extinguishers in all campus buildings. We also manage fire and emergency planning, fire drills, fire permits and compliance, hot work, and event fire safety.
For laboratory and research, occupational, environmental, and additional safety resources, see Environmental Health and Safety.
For general safety information, see Columbia University Public Safety.
For fire safety at Columbia University's Morningside campus, see Fire Safety at Morningside.
Questions or concerns about fire safety at the medical center? Email us at email@example.com.
Know Your Fire Safety Basics
Review these crucial safety guides (.pdf):
- R.A.C.E. and P.A.S.S: Be prepared for fire alarms and emergencies. (Watch the P.A.S.S. Safety video.)
- R.A.C.E.: An easy-to-remember formula for what to do in a fire
- P.A.S.S.: How to use a fire extinguisher
- When do I evacuate? For anyone who lives or works in a high-rise building
- What is your evacuation plan? If the fire alarm or some other emergency necessitated a building evacuation, what would you do?
- Natural gas leaks: Know what to do if you smell gas.
- Keep fire doors closed: All hallway doors on campus have a fire rating. These doors must remain closed.
Be Prepared: Know Who to Call
- CUMC Public Safety: 212-305-7979
- Morningside/Manhattanville Public Safety: 212-854-5555
- To reach the New York City Police and Fire Departments or to request an ambulance, call 911.
- Facilities Management and Campus Services (any non-urgent questions related to fire safety devices): 212-305-HELP (4357), option 3
- Campus Life Safety and Regulatory Compliance (questions specific to fire safety): firstname.lastname@example.org or call a member of our team
- Environmental Health and Safety: 212-305-6780
- Public Safety: 212-305-8100
- Facilities: 212-854-2222
- Fire Safety: 212-854-8518
- Environmental Health and Safety: 212-854-8749
- Public Safety: 212-854-2797
Fire Safety Policies
Questions or concerns about fire safety policies at the medical center? Email email@example.com.
New York City Fire Code requires hot work permits for all contractors and maintenance staff when welding, grinding, thawing, brazing, soldering, cutting, or using any heat-, flame-, or spark-producing equipment. Permits are valid for the day, the operation, and to the torch operator and fire guard team (with valid FDNY certificates of fitness) for which they are issued.
Notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org at least 48 hours in advance of the intended hot work.
For non-residential buildings, hot work permits are issued in the Campus Life Safety and Regulatory Compliance office in Black Building B-12. For residential properties, permits are issued by the CUMC Office of Housing Services in Bard Hall.
If you have work scheduled at CUMC that requires fire alarm devices (smoke detector or water flow) to be disabled or the entire building taken offline, request this work from Campus Life Safety and Regulatory Compliance at least 48 hours in advance. Your project or facilities manager must also submit a work request 48 hours in advance to ask for Facilities Engineering support for drain downs (both branch and risers). If emergency work must be performed after-hours, notify Campus Life Safety and Regulatory Compliance to take a building offline and disable affected fire alarm points.
New York State Education Law and the New York City Fire Code require that fire drills be conducted in all campus buildings to familiarize occupants with response procedures in an emergency.
In an emergency, it's extremely critical to keep corridors uncluttered. Any obstructions will compromise a full building evacuation, especially where visibility is reduced. Download pdf.
New York City Fire Code and CUMC policy prohibit the use of any open flames, such as candles and burning incense, in campus buildings. Some exceptions are made at the discretion of the campus fire safety team.
Using a portable space heater can lead to fire hazards if it is not approved and operated properly. Before you buy or use a space heater at CUMC, call Facilities Management at 212-305-HELP (4357), option 3, to request a heating assessment. If necessary, we will conduct an electrical evaluation to determine the appropriate size heater.
Only oil-filled, radiator-type portable space heaters with no exposed heating elements are allowed at CUMC. The unit must be UL-rated, with inspection tag intact, and have a grounded plug.
For more information, review our fire safety bulletin.
Departments planning a catering event utilizing Sterno fuel should contact the Faculty Club to ensure that they follow safety protocols.
CUMC complies with California Technical Bulletin 133, which requires all upholstered furniture in dormitory and hospital occupancies follow the mattress-testing standards of the New York City Fire Code.
All furniture must be purchased through an approved purchase order processed through Columbia University Purchasing.