Office of Security and Safety

Fire Policies

On-Campus Student Housing Fire Safety Systems

Bethel University employs a number of fire safety systems in its on-campus housing facilities. These systems are a combination of fire suppression (sprinklers, etc.) as well as local and monitored detection devices. For a detailed breakout of the fire safety systems in each housing facility, see the PDF document on Life Safety Systems.

Fire Drills

The Offices of Security and Safety and Residence Life hold two fire drills each academic year per housing facility. In order for the drills to be as realistic as possible, they are not publicized ahead of time.

Fire-Related Policies

Cooking appliances

The use of cooking appliances is not allowed in the traditional residence halls or townhouses. There is a fire hazard from electrical overload due to cooking; therefore, such activities must be restricted. Exceptions are: toasters (toaster ovens are not allowed), coffee makers, small indoor electric grills (e.g., Foreman grills), microwaves, and the use of those appliances provided in the common areas.


Smoking is strictly prohibited on Bethel's campus at all times.

Open flame/grills

The use of personal charcoal, gas, or any other type of grill (exception: small indoor electric grills, e.g., Foreman grills) is strictly prohibited on Bethel property. Personal grills will be confiscated. Charcoal grills are provided throughout campus near each residence area. Any kind of open flame is not allowed in Bethel housing facilities. This includes decks, patios, balconies, townhouse stairwells, and windowsills. A university-installed open fire pit is available for use behind the seminary and is the only exception to the open flame policy. Portable fire pits are strictly prohibited.

Housing Evacuation Procedures

In the event of a fire alarm in any campus housing, all persons shall immediately evacuation the building and report to the designated evacuation area:

· Freshman Hill (Bodien, Edgren, Getsch) -- Assemble in the circle area between the three halls

· Arden Village West and Nelson Residence Hall -- Assemble in Kresge Courtyard

· Arden Village East --Assemble in the Lower East Parking Lot

· Heritage Hall -- Assemble in West Parking Lot

· Chalberg and Seminary Village -- Assemble in the south part of the Village Parking Lot

· Fountain Terrace -- Assemble in the Trevilla Nursing Home parking lot (north side of Fountain Terrace)

Resident directors, resident assistants, and staff evacuation teams have additional training and information for evacuation.

If appropriate, residence life staff will develop an individualized evacuation plan for residents with disabilities.

Fire Safety Education and Training

Bethel University uses several methods to educate and train its community members about fire safety. Those education and training opportunities are in the form of drills, new employee orientation, new student orientation, and various print and web communications, including the student handbook and the security and safety website.

These methods describe the procedures that students and employees should follow in the case of a fire.


Any incident of fire or signs of smoke/fire should be immediately reported to the Office of Security and Safety.

Future Improvements in Fire Safety

There are many opportunities for improvements in fire safety. Some of the improvements Bethel University is investigating include: campus-wide emergency notification utilizing a public address system, fire suppression coverage updates, posting of evacuation reminders and routes, and standardization of campus fire panel types and locations.