Fire Safety Policies

Questions or concerns about fire safety policies at the medical center? EmailĀ cumcfiresafety@columbia.edu.

List of policies:

Corridor Clearance

In an emergency, it's extremely critical to keep corridors uncluttered. Any obstructions will compromise a full building evacuation, especially where visibility is reduced.

Fire Drills

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.

Fire Protection Devices

If you have work scheduled at CUIMC 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 orderĀ 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.

Hot Work Permits

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 cumcfiresafety@columbia.edu 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 CUIMC Office of Housing Services in 50 Haven Ave.

Open Flames

New York City Fire Code and CUIMC 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.

Portable Space Heaters

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 CUIMC, 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 CUIMC. The unit must be UL-rated, with inspection tag intact, and have a grounded plug.

For more information, review our fire safety dispatch.

Solid Alcohol, or Sterno, Fuel Use

Departments planning a catering event utilizing Sterno fuel should contact the Faculty Club to ensure that they follow safety protocols.

Upholstered Furniture

CUIMC 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.