Fire Safety

SUNY Cortland has maintained an outstanding fire safety program. Campus buildings and fire protection systems are regularly inspected for safety and integrity. Any unsafe conditions are promptly identified and corrected. Students and staff receive training on various aspects of fire safety, and fire drills are conducted throughout the year.

View SUNY Cortland’s Emergency Action Plans Program, which provides information on reporting fires, evacuation procedures, assembly areas, use of fire extinguishers, and other campus emergencies.

Below are excerpts from SUNY Cortland's Key to Residence Hall Living Policies related to fire safety.


For the safety of all residents, use and/or possession of these appliances will not be allowed in any of the residence halls.

  • Hot plates
  • electric coils
  • toaster/toaster ovens
  • microwave ovens
  • electric percolators and drip coffee pots
  • hot pots
  • any lamps with plastic shades, i.e. “octopus” lights
  • extension cords
  • any other electrical appliance used for cooking or preparing food (Foreman grills/ovens, propane grills)

Items allowed in the residence halls are UL approved coffee pots with built-in automatic shut-offs and cool air vaporizers.

Candles, Incense and Open Flames

Candles or incense of any type are not permitted in student rooms or apartments due to the potential fire threat they pose to all students living in the community. This includes any decorative or fragrant candles. Because of the danger of fire, candles and any kind of open flame (including charcoal, propane, grills, stoves and incense) cannot be allowed in the residence halls. The use of candles for religious observances may be permitted under controlled circumstances through the director of residence life and housing.

Fire Procedures

Because of the possibility of fires in the residence halls, the residence hall staff is especially concerned with taking all possible precautions to guard against fire. As a resident, you should take every precaution to guard against the possibility of fire. You will be held responsible for any action which endangers others. Failure to evacuate a residence hall is considered a serious violation of College policy.

Fire extinguisher and pull boxes are located in each residence hall corridor. The use of either of these fire safety apparatus should be for emergencies only.

Each residence hall has at least three fire drills per year. These drills will not be announced and you must evacuate the building each time the fire alarm is sounded. Failure to leave the building will result in judicial action. Please make sure you and your guests are wearing appropriate clothing and shoes when evacuating the building.

If a fire alarm in the building is pulled in any non-drill situation, the Cortland City Fire Department will respond immediately. In accordance with state and local laws, pulling a fire alarm in non-emergency situations is illegal. Pulling an alarm is a costly move which endangers the lives of all residents and jeopardizes relations with the City Fire Department.

The College will treat any tampering with the fire alarm systems as a serious offense that involves College sanction and state law prosecution. A student should expect the penalty for a malicious false alarm to be suspension from the College.

Fire Safety Equipment

Each residence hall room, hallway and public areas are equipped with heat and smoke detectors. The renovated residence halls also have sprinklers in each student’s room, hallways, and common areas. Tampering with these, either by activating them or by making them inoperable will be treated as a severe offense (similar to turning in a false fire alarm) and handled through the Judicial Affairs Office.

Guns, Explosives and Flammables

Firearms, (includes BB, pellet and paintball), weapons, ammunition, firecrackers, explosives, harmful chemicals or any other type of flammable materials are not to be stored or used in or around the residence halls. Internal combustion engines are prohibited within the buildings.


SUNY Cortland policy is that all residence halls are NON-SMOKING. There will be no smoking or tobacco products within all residence halls, as well as 50 feet outside of residence halls unless at a designated smoking entrance.