Skip to main content
Fire Safety Fair
Fire Safety Fair
Modern hallways are engineered to be protected corridors in the event of an emergency. Their width is calculated for the building’s use and occupant load and their construction is designed to withstand fire and prevent the spread of smoke. However, as there is always a demand for space a variety of items get placed in the hallways reducing their effectiveness as safe passageways.

In 2017, Fire Safety rolled out an ambitious initiative to clear the hallways on campus. As Fire Safety completed building inspections on campus, one of the most glaring issues was the amount of storage in hallways. Whether the items were abandoned, being stored in the hallway, or the hallways were makeshift work or break spaces, the items in place created a life safety issue.

The University has a policy addressing clear hallways, but an effective educational program and customer-focused enforcement was needed. With that goal in mind, Fire Safety began promoting a “Clear Hallways for Life Safety” program: Social media, posters and flyers, mailings, emails, an outreach table, and a public safety announcement video were all created, and a pilot program was tested later in the academic year in collaboration with the Lineberger Cancer Research Center. The program received excellent feedback about the process and the results.

The “Clear Hallways for Life Safety” initiative is a multi-step process. Fire Safety announces a date early each month and Fire Safety team members canvass the hallways on that date looking for unsafe practices. Items are flagged, contact with the owners is attempted, and there is a documentation procedure. Thirty days later, the building is re-inspected, and items that have not been removed are sent to the University’s surplus store.

The “Clear Hallways for Life Safety” program will be promoted across campus in 2018 to keep UNC-Chapel Hill students, staff and faculty safe and healthy.

Performance measurement is a critical part of the EHS management system. Education, customer service and internal processes are the three most essential components of our work. The chart below indicates the performance in these areas over a five-year period with Level Four representing optimum performance. The adjacent tab shows the specific performance activities and the level of that performance for 2017.

Components, Years and Level Completed
Education Customer Service Internal Processes
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
3 4 2 4 3 2 2 3 4 3 2 2 2 2 2


  • Held annual fire safety fair in collaboration with UNC-CH Police, Chapel Hill Fire Department, Carolina Dining Services and Orange County Emergency Services to develop on-going fire safety relationships with students and provide hands-on training.
  • Performed more than 300 fire drills for UNC-CH buildings.
  • Trained 1,226 students and staff on fire safety and fire extinguisher use.
  • In partnership with Chapel Hill Fire Department, hosted a Fire and Life Safety Educator Level Two course for internal and external candidates.
  • Participated in training for new officers at the Chapel Hill Fire Department.
  • Presented a seminar at the 2017 Campus Fire Safety Forum on the benefits of an accreditation process for campus fire safety authorities.
  • Provided more than 24 hours of training to members of the UNC-CH Emergency Response Team.
  • Provided eight hours of hazardous materials response training to EHS employees to fulfill annual refresher requirements.

Customer Service

  • Provided fire safety coverage to seven home football games, 15 home men’s basketball games, and the men’s basketball national semifinal and championship game events at the Smith Center.
  • Provided fire safety coverage for performances at Memorial Hall, special events with the Chancellor and numerous other campus events.
  • Inspected 35 dining facilities cooking hoods.
  • Provided life safety recommendations and monitored the annual Fall Festival.
  • Participated in pre-planning committee meetings for the Chapel Hill Fire Department.
  • Inspected 7,000 campus fire extinguishers.
  • Entered into an agreement to provide fire safety services to the North Carolina State Educational Assistance Authority.
  • Responded to 37 reports of gas or burning odors in University buildings.
  • Installed 11 emergency Knox boxes and worked with Facilities Services to include at least seven additional Knox Boxes on 2018 capital construction projects.

Internal Processes

  • Investigated an elevator motor fire (Carmichael Resident Hall), several cooking fires (Taylor Resident Hall, Ram Village 3) and a roofing construction fire (Cheek Clark).
  • Provided two work-study students an opportunity to learn about fire safety and how to operate fire extinguishers, while freeing staff for other critical responsibilities.
  • Investigated and documented 231 false fire alarms during calendar year 2017, a decrease of 2% from 2016.
  • Tested fire alarms in 265 buildings.
  • Surveyed 285 buildings to designate emergency evacuation points in support of the Emergency Action Plan Project.