Fire Prevention

The purpose of the fire prevention program or plan is to prevent a fire from occurring in a workplace. The program or plan describes the fuel sources (hazardous or other materials) at the University that could initiate or contribute both to the spread of a fire, as well as the building systems, such as fire extinguishing systems and alarm systems, in place to control the ignition or spread of a fire.

A fire prevention program or plan must be in writing, be kept in the workplace, and be made available to employees for review [29 CFR 1910.39].

The University’s fire prevention program includes:

  • A list of all major fire hazards, proper handling and storage procedures for hazardous materials, potential ignition sources and their control, and the type of fire protection equipment necessary to control each major hazard. [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(1)]
  • Procedures to control accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials. [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(2)]
  • Procedures for regular maintenance of safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment to prevent the accidental ignition of combustible materials. [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(3)]
  • The department name or job title of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition or fires. [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(4)]
  • The department name or job title of employees responsible for the control of fuel source hazards. [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(5)]

Each Department must inform their employees upon initial assignment to a job of the fire hazards to which they are exposed. Each Department must also review with each employee those parts of the fire prevention plan necessary for self-protection. [29 CFR 1910.39(d)]

Fill out the Fire Extinguisher Hands-on Demonstration Training Form.

Portable Fire Extinguishers

Know Your Limits

In the hands of a properly trained person, a fire extinguisher can save lives and protect property. Extinguishers are designed to extinguish or contain small fires. However, even against small fires, they have limits.

The extinguisher must be:

  • The proper class for the fire. Most are ABC Class, but always check the label.
  • Of adequate size and capacity to fight a small fire or use to escape to an area of safety. Most extinguishers discharge within 30 seconds.
  • Operable and within reach. Most are located at the entrance and exit doors of buildings.

The operator must know how and when to use the fire extinguisher. Training is required on an annual basis.

Classes of Fire

The extinguisher you use must be matched to the type of material that is burning. Most are ABC Class, but not all.

Materials fall into three basic classes:

  • Type A: Ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics.
  • Type B: Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, grease, tar, oil-based paint, lacquer, and flammable gas.
  • Type C: Energized electrical equipment including wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery, and appliances.
  • Type K: Kitchen fires.

You must match the correct class of extinguisher with the type of material burning. Using the wrong extinguisher is dangerous and can make the fire worse. Know the type of extinguisher nearest your room or work location.

Fight or Flight?

Before you use an extinguisher:

  • Make sure the fire alarm has been activated.
  • Know how to properly use the extinguisher. All extinguishers have labels with operational instructions.
  • Be sure someone has called 9-1-1.
  • Be sure to use the proper type of extinguisher.
  • Keep your back to a safe exit.
  • Remember: safety first!
  • If in doubt, close the door and leave!

P.A.S.S. the Test

  • Pull the pin.
  • Aim low, point the extinguisher nozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle, this releases the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep from side to side, keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and sweep back and forth until it appears to be out. Watch the fire area. If fire breaks out again, repeat the process with a new, fully charged fire extinguisher.

In Case Of Fire

If a fire occurs, your actions can make the difference between a minor fire and a disaster.

  • Close the door to the fire area.
  • Activate the fire alarm system.
  • Call 9-1-1 and report the fire.
  • Evacuate from the building. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR.
  • Stay low in smoke (crawl).
  • Use the extinguisher only if your are trained to do so.

Familiarize yourself with the locations of nearby extinguishers and make sure they are unobstructed. Report discharged, damaged, or missing extinguishers to Environmental Health and Safety at (828) 251-3068 or complete a Campus Operations “Report a problem” form. EHS staff also conducts hands-on fire extinguisher training, to schedule, contact (828) 251-6038.

Fire Alarm Response

Fire Alarm Response Procedure

Also, additional information about fire emergencies can be found on the Emergency Management website.

Hot Work


To provide written procedures to prevent the outbreak of fire, fire alarm activations, and smoke and odor migration in buildings resulting from any temporary operation involving the use of open flames or which produces heat and / or sparks. This includes, but is not limited to: brazing, cutting, grinding, torch soldering, thawing pipes, torch applied roofing and welding.


This procedure applies to work performed by any University employee and contractors performing work in existing buildings, new construction in existing buildings or new construction attached to existing buildings.

This procedure does not apply to existing buildings or to areas that are specifically designed and equipped for such operations, i.e. maintenance shop areas and designated welding areas.


Hot Work – Any operation producing flame, sparks or heat including cutting, welding, brazing, grinding, sawing, torch soldering, thawing frozen pipes, applying roof covering etc.

Permit – A special permit, which authorizes “Hot Work” activities at a specific location and time. The permit (available on the EHS Forms page) must be properly filled out, displayed on site and returned to the supervisor when the hot work is complete. Permits contain a checklist to be completed prior to commencing hot work activities and also at the conclusion of the hot work.

Fire Watch – A trained individual stationed in the hot work area who monitors the work area for the beginnings of potential, unwanted fires both during and after hot work. Individuals must be trained and familiar with the operation of portable fire extinguishers and methods to activate building fire alarm systems.



It is the responsibility of management to insure that this procedure is implemented in those areas under their jurisdiction where applicable.


  • Identify employees/contractors who may perform hot work
  • Provide training to employees/contractors who perform hot work, if applicable
  • Provide Hot Work Permits (Blank permits are available from Trades or EHS)
  • Notify Pubic Safety Dispatch before hot work begins
  • Complete and collect Hot Work Permits from the employees/contractors
  • Drop off completed permits, after hot work is finished, to Public Safety (for 2-hour fire safety checks by University Police)
  • Ensure compliance with procedures by employees and contractors


  • Follow all Hot Work protocols on the permit
  • Complete your section of the Hot Work Permit
  • Complete EHS training, where applicable

Environmental Health and Safety

  • Develop written hot work procedure and revise the procedure as necessary
  • Provide hot work training program for supervisors and employees as needed
  • Periodically audit operations, documentation and training
  • Maintain hot work permits and employee training records


1. Hot work should not be performed if the work can be avoided or performed in a safer manner. When practical, objects to be welded, cut or heated should be moved to a designated safe location (e.g. maintenance shops) if possible.

2.  If hot work must be performed, a Hot Work Permit must be completed.

3. All precautions on the Hot Work Permit must be met prior to any work commencing. The supervisor or the employee performing the hot work will complete the permit.

4. The Hot Work Permit is only good for 24 hours of the date specified on the permit.

5. A Hot Work Permit must be displayed at the work site during all hot work activities.

6. All building occupants must be suitably protected against hazards generated by the work (e.g. heat, sparks, fumes, welding rays, etc).

7. Before hot work begins:

  • An appropriate fire extinguisher must be available and operable.
  • Flammable and ignitable materials and debris must be moved at least 35 feet from the hot work area or covered and protected from the hot work by fire resistant material.
  • Explosives, compressed gas cylinders or stored fuel must be moved at least 50 feet from the hot work area or covered and protected from the hot work by fire resistant material.
  • Smoke and fire detectors in the immediate area of the hot work must be temporarily disabled until the hot work is completed.
  • Adequate ventilation is being used (especially when cutting or welding materials with painted or metal coated surfaces).
  • Building occupants have been protected or isolated from the hot work area.
  • Cracks or holes in floors, walls, and ceilings (including ductwork) are properly covered or plugged.
  • Hot work equipment is operable and in good repair.
  • Drums, barrels and tanks have been cleaned and purged of flammables and toxics, all tank feeds are closed, and the tank vented.
  • A fire watch is implemented if conditions warrant (e.g., fire hazards or combustible exposures are present).
  • Workers and Fire Watch personnel are trained in the use of fire extinguishing equipment and how to sound a fire alarm.

8. When hot work is complete:

  • The work area and any potentially affected surrounding areas are inspected for fire, fire damage or the potential for fire for a minimum of 30 minutes following completion of the hot work.
  • Smoke / fire alarms that were disabled because of hot work are reactivated.
  • Hot work permit is closed out.
  • The completed permit must be returned to the supervisor (or project manager) who then submits the completed permit to Public Safety Dispatch.
  • Public Safety Dispatch notifies University Police to conduct a 2-hour fire safety check.
  • University Police complete their section of the permit then returns the permit to Environmental Health and Safety for recordkeeping.


  • FM Global – Factory Mutual Insurance Company “Hot Work Guidelines”
  • National Fire Protection Association Standard 51B “Standard for Fire Prevention During Welding, Cutting and Other Hot Work”
  • International Fire Code 2016 Edition Chapter 26 “Welding and Other Hot Work”
  • OSHA Regulations 29 CFR 1926.352 “Welding and Cutting”

Recreational Fires and Bonfires Guidelines

These guidelines must be followed when an individual, group or department plans to have a fire on any University property.


Recreational Fire – Is a fire completely enclosed in a commercially manufactured outdoor fire pit appliance and is not in contact with the ground.

Bonfire – Is a fire that is not enclosed in a commercially manufactured outdoor fire pit appliance and is in contact with the ground. A bonfire is limited to special events or other University sanctioned events.

Recreational Fires

1. Environmental Health & Safety must be notified at least 72 hours in advance via the on-line submittal of a Fire Permit Application.

2. Faculty, staff, students, and student groups must use the on-line Fire Permit Application form for all pit appliance fires.

3. The fuel for the fire should be clean and untreated wood. The fire shall not be ignited with flammable liquids.

4.  A commercially manufactured outdoor fire pit appliance must be used.

5. The fire pit appliance should have a screen which controls the emission of ash and embers.

6. The fire pit appliance should be at least 50 feet from any combustible materials.

7. The fire shall be constantly attended.

8. The fire shall be extinguished when it cannot be attended or ends early. The fire shall be extinguished with 1) a 5-gallon bucket of water, 2) a spigot-connected hose, 3) commercially available sand, or 4) a water-based fire extinguisher. If using fire extinguishing equipment, training is required (before the event) and/or past training must be within 12 months of the training date completed.  After the event, please return the extinguishing equipment to University Police Dispatch at Weizenblatt Hall.

9. Smoldering embers shall not be disposed of in a trash receptacle or dumpster.

10. The fire shall not constitute a nuisance (excessive smoke, odors).

11. All instructions from the manufacturer of the fire pit appliance shall be followed including the use of screen covers to prevent contact with flames if so equipped.

12. No open burning shall occur if, in the discretion of University Police or Emergency Management, said burning presents a danger to the public, health and safety of University staff or students, or damage to property. NOTE: If Buncombe County issues a “No Burn Alert”, the fire permit will be cancelled.

Approved Locations

  • Governors Hall – Courtyard area
  • Highsmith Student Union – Lower level between building and stairs leading up to University Heights Road
  • Justice Center Gym – Front area
  • Mills Hall – Front area between building and stairs leading up to University Heights Road
  • Ponder Hall – Courtyard area
  • Reed Plaza
  • Justice Center Gym – Front area
  • The Woods – Beech Hall and Magnolia Hall courtyard area

Locations other than those listed above must be approved by Emergency Management (828) 251-6038 before the fire permit application is submitted.

Bonfires at Mullen Park

1.   Environmental Health & Safety must be notified at least 72 hours in advance via the on-line submittal of a Fire Permit Application.

2.   Faculty, staff, students, and student groups must use the on-line Fire Permit Application form for all bonfires.

3.   A bonfire shall not be allowed to continue past midnight unless special arrangements have been made with University Police or Emergency Management.

4.   The location for any open burning shall be at least 50 feet from any structure. The rock fire pit at Mullen Park shall be used and the fire itself reasonably positioned within the pit to prevent accidental contact with flames.

5.   A bonfire must not be more than 5 feet wide by 5 feet long by 10 feet in height.

6.   Suitable provisions, such as wetting the ground, clearing the area, removing debris/materials, etc. must be completed to prevent the fire from spreading.

7.   Bonfires may not be utilized to dispose of any waste material.

8.   All bonfires must constantly be attended by a fire watch until the fire is extinguished.

9.   A water-based fire extinguisher must be used by a trained person to extinguish the fire (e.g., the fire is in contact with the ground). Fire extinguisher equipment training is required and/or past training must be within 12 months of the training date. The water-based extinguisher can be obtained from Public Safety any time prior to the burn event (open 24/7). After the event, please return the equipment to University Police Dispatch at Weizenblatt Hall.

10. Fuel for the bonfire may consist only of dry firewood.  The fire will not be ignited with flammable liquids.

11. The coordinator of the event (Fire Permit applicant) will ensure the Fire Permit Application is completed. Submitted permits are sent electronically to Emergency Management and they will notify University Police to conduct a 2-hour safety check of the area after the event ends. University Police are UNCA’s first responders and will notify the Asheville Fire Department if/when a fire emergency occurs.

12. The Asheville Fire Department will be requested to put the fire out if/when the bonfire poses a threat to life and property.

Fire Watch

Fire Watch Procedure

Corridor & Equipment Room Storage

Corridor and Equipment Room Storage Procedure

Storage of Flammables

The RED Book

Building Emergency Coordinator (BEC) Program

The Building Emergency Coordinator (BEC) program was established to coordinate the emergency preparedness and planning efforts among all University buildings.

Many University buildings are occupied by multiple departments, making building-wide communications and coordination difficult during normal operations, let alone during an emergency. The BEC program serves to assist building occupants, University Police (first responders), and Emergency Management by developing and maintaining a common building-specific action plan for emergencies that threaten the life safety of our students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

BECs serve as an extension of Emergency Management in the preparedness, response, and recovery phases of an emergency. By serving in this role, they protect the entire University community.

Building Emergency Coordinators Roles and Responsibilities

BECs work with Emergency Management to disseminate pertinent emergency preparedness information and plans throughout their building. In addition, they provide University Police and other emergency responders with a single, knowledgeable point of contact who can assist in contacting the appropriate departmental personnel and officials in case of an emergency.

For resident halls, BECs (Area Directors and Resident Assistants) serve at least one academic year with no limit to the number of consecutive years. For academic and administration buildings, BECs can serve indefinitely. BECs help to maintain the VEOCI Emergency Management System by annually reviewing and verifying their building’s contact information and Emergency Action Plan (EAP). The Alternate Building Emergency Coordinator (ABEC) fulfills a similar role to the BEC and provides additional support in an emergency when/where needed.

BECs also provide emergency support to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) when it is requested.

Current BEC/ABEC List

Aspen Hall – Current Resident Assistant

Beech Hall – Current Resident Assistant

Belk Theater – Vacant

Bird Hall – Current Resident Assistant

Brown Hall – Vacant

Cedar Hall – Current Resident Assistant

Chestnut Hall – Vacant

Delany Hall – Vacant

Dykeman Hall – Vacant

Gardner Hall – Current Resident Assistant

Governors Hall – Current Resident Assistant

Karpen Hall – Vacant

Lipinsky Hall – Vacant

Magnolia Hall – Current Resident Assistant

Millar Facilities Complex – Charles Bay (Mary Pohl)

Moore Hall – Current Resident Assistant

Owen Hall – Vacant

Phillips Hall – Amanda Baranski

Pisgah House – Hannah Webber

Ramsey Library – Vacant

Ray Hall – Current Resident Assistant

Reuter Center – Catherine Frank

Rhoades Robinson Hall – Vacant

Sherrill Center/Kimmel Arena – Michael Bianco

STEAM Studios – Lee Rosenberg

Student Recreation Center – Leah Belt (Wendy Motch-Ellis)

Weizenblatt Hall – Kim Kauer

Whitesides Hall – Vacant

Zageir Hall – Jessica Cooper

Zeis Hall – Kevin Gibson

Electric Space Heaters

Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) Space Heater Policy

NC Department of Insurance – Office of the State Fire Marshal

Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM) Fire & Life Safety Checklist