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Environmental Health and Safety

Fire Safety & Life Safety

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Environmental Health & Safety contracts with Kittitas Valley Fire & Rescue (KVFR) on a quarterly basis to perform fire extinguisher training for all faculty and staff.  EH&S works with Human Resources’ Central Learning Academy ( to schedule these trainings.  CWU-CLA posts in Central Today and on their webpage all upcoming safety trainings.


The Ellensburg Fire Marshal performs both residential and academic/administrative building fire inspections for the campus each year.  In conjunction with the fire inspection, EH&S performs life safety audits.
The most common violations are the improper use of extension cords and propping open fire doors.

Extension cords and flexible cords are not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring. Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be affixed to structures, extended through walls, ceilings or floors, or under doors or floor coverings, nor shall such cords be subject to environmental damage or physical impact. Extension cords shall be used only with portable appliances.

Common Fire Code Violations

On a regular basis, you should check your area to make sure you are in compliance with the International Fire Code:

  • Combustible waste material accumulation in building or structure
  • Ceiling clearance not maintained (Sprinklered rooms 18-inches; Non-sprinklered rooms 24-inches)
  • Combustible materials stored in exits or exit enclosures
  • Combustible material stored in boiler, mechanical, or electrical room
  • Access to fire department equipment obstructed
  • Appliance not plugged directly into outlet (non-portable)
  • Workspace clearance not maintained in front of electrical panel box 36-inches
  • Multi-plug adapter are non-compliant and shall be prohibited
  • Extension cords being used in place of permanent wiring
  • Daisy chaining of power strips
  • Fire extinguisher obstructed or obscured from view
  • Means of egress is obstructed and not readily available for use
  • Exit blocked by furnishings or decorations
  • Required width of egress aisle not maintained
  • Quantities exceed maximum allowed per control area
  • Rooms or cabinets containing compressed gas not labeled
  • Hazardous materials not properly stored- incompatible materials
  • Compressed gas cylinders not properly secured
  • Portable heaters not plugged in directly; kept 3-feet from combustibles


Blocking/Propping Doors – Keeping fire doors open allows smoke and fire to travel though an uncontrolled avenue throughout the building. In order to reduce the spread of fire throughout the building, the following guidelines are provided below:

  • Fire/smoke rated doors must not be kept open or blocked except with an approved automatic magnetic release device, which will release the door when any emergency alarm device is activated.
  • The self-closing devices on doors must not be disconnected or rendered inoperable.
  • If the door must be held open for movement of furniture, equipment or other large size or number of items, the person responsible for the move will provide an individual at the door to ensure the door is not left open if the building is evacuated.
  • "Door chocks" or "foot stops" must not be installed on any fire rated door. Furniture, appliances, etc. must not be used to prop the door open.
  • Doors that need to be left open for high traffic areas or visual security may be so authorized by two options: 1) The automatic magnetic release device is installed in a facility that ties into the existing fire alarm system; or 2) The facility is a self-contained building. If one of these options is met, the door will require an automatic magnetic release device installed which will release the door when any emergency alarm device is activated.
  • Obstructions that will prohibit fire/smoke rated doors from closing and latching without human intervention are not permitted.

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