Health and Safety FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding Health & Safety Inspections. If you have other questions, please e-mail them to Don Lail at

Why am I charged for removing my window guards?

It is the policy of the University Village to ensure the safety of our residents by checking in all guests at the service desk in either building. Residents are free to travel throughout our buildings at any time, but must always show their PUC ID when entering. In order to ensure the safety of our community, allowing entry through exit doors or any window is strictly forbidden. Window guards ensure that no one can enter or exit through a window in the University Village. This policy is universal throughout both buildings and all floors. Fourth floor residents are not exempt from the window guard policy.

Window guards also protect residents from those outside of the University Village community. It is permissible to leave the window open at any time, and window guards ensure that no one can enter your suite without your knowledge. In addition, any threat of violence or dangerous situation involving the potential for someone to fall from a window is prevented by window guards being in place.

Why did I fail inspections for having things on my bedroom floor? That’s where I always keep them.

It is very important to our residential life staff and emergency personnel that suites and individual bedrooms can be entered and exited without issue in the event of an emergency. Please be sure that there is nothing on the floor that may cause injury during an emergency evacuation. It is also necessary for all doors to be able to open to a full 90-degree angle in the event that medical personnel must enter with a stretcher or other medical equipment. Failure to comply with this policy could interfere with emergency medical procedures, and any violations noted during inspections will be documented.

Why did I fail because of my electrical outlet? I thought I was following procedures.

Power strips and surge protectors are often necessary when dealing with electronic devices, but there are certain types of adapters that pose fire and electrocution hazards. Any electrical cords plugged in to a wall outlet must have a three-prong, grounded plug. Several types of “cheater unit” electrical adaptors will only have two prongs, but offer multiple extra outlets for electronic devices. These units are not grounded and pose a significant safety hazard. Please be sure that all electrical cords plugged in to wall outlets have three prongs, and also ensure that any power strips or units that offer a higher number of outlets are grounded and contain surge protection capabilities. Additional hazards that will result in failing health and safety inspections are: frayed (exposed) electrical wiring, multiple-extended electrical cords (plugging a power strip into another power strip will overload the wall outlet and generate a great deal of heat, likely resulting in a fire), electrical outlets that are off-balance or not quite long enough (causing the plug or outlet to be partially exposed), and cords that run through water or through/around pillows, blankets, clothes, or other types of fabric.

No one says anything when my door is open, so why did I fail for taping the lock? It’s the same thing.

It’s actually not the same thing. Leaving your door open is an invitation for friends to come and go freely, and is only permissible when a resident is awake and in the common area of the suite. There should never be a time when the suite door is open and unattended. Taping or otherwise disabling the suite lock creates the illusion that the suite is secure, but the lock provides no protection to the residents of that suite. Leaving a lock disabled while the room is unsupervised gives those with criminal intent the perfect opportunity to steal or harm without being caught. University Village locks operate on a sophisticated system which provide us with detailed information on when and by whom a room was accessed, but disabling or jamming the lock robs us of our chance to enforce policies and protect our residents.

What can I do if my smoke detector goes off while I cook?

Occasionally a smoke detector in your suite may go off while you are cooking. By fanning the smoke detector, it is easy to help it to turn off quickly (once the smoke has cleared). Open windows in your suite to help the smoke escape, but do not open your suite door! This may trigger a full alarm from the smoke detectors in the hallway. Residents have come to us with the following suggestions to try if the smoke detectors in your suite go off often while cooking: If you cook with oil, use less! Large amounts of oil in your cooking lead to lots of smoke, as well as grease build-up on counters and appliances. Also, use lower heat settings! Cooking food at a lower temperature will help to keep it from burning and causing smoke.

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