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Greek Social Event Information
FIRE/LIFE SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR SOCIAL EVENTS
These guidelines are an integral part of the event registration process and shall be followed as part of a recognized social function where the occupant load is expected to exceed 50 guests. A representative from the IFC, Panhellenic Council and/or Corvallis Fire Department may visit your function at any time to verify adherence to the fire safety requirements identified within this checklist. Failure to follow any of these requirements may result in social probation and/or civil penalty.
Once a party gets underway, it is sometimes difficult to continue the focus on guest & resident safety. This shall be the responsibility of the sober monitors and hired private security and shall continue aggressively throughout the event. It is also important for resident safety that a sober and responsible team walk through the house after the party to ensure the house remains in a safe condition. A number of fatal fires have occurred in Greek houses hours after a party ended and the residents went to sleep.
Below is a list of safety precautions that shall be rigorously followed throughout any large event that is held in a fraternity or sorority:
- A pre-event briefing shall be held at which time these safety requirements as well as fire emergency procedures will be explained to ALL individuals who will be responsible for event management, security, and safety. This briefing shall include a walk-through of the facility to verify compliance with the items contained within this checklist and to familiarize all security and house staff with facility exiting layout and installed fire protection features.
- All decorative material shall be manufactured or treated so that it is flame resistant. These decorations include, but are not limited to: ceiling or wall hangings; large pieces of plastic, paper or fabric; vegetation such as Christmas trees, hay bales, or straw. Theme parties shall not diminish fire/life safety requirements. (OFC, Section 806, 2003 ed.)
- ALL exits, aisles, doors, hallways, and stairs shall be kept clear at all times and shall not be concealed in any manner throughout the event. All exit doors shall be checked to ensure they operate properly and will open fully in the direction of exit. All exterior exit paths (i.e. patios, decks, sidewalks) leading to a public way shall be clear. (OFC, Sec. 1027, 2003 ed.)
Horseplay or malicious activity, to any degree, involving fire play, or fire protection equipment shall not be tolerated by either residents or guests (OFC, Section 109, 2003 ed.)
The total number of occupants in a facility at any time shall be limited to that number established by the Oregon Fire Code. One designated party room/area shall be established and the open/net square footage shall be determined. Based upon that number an occupant load figure can be established. That number will represent the total occupant load for the entire house during a social function. (OFC, Section 1004, 2003 ed.)
The determined occupant load shall be impacted by available square footage, the presence of fire sprinklers & fire alarms, and the adequacy of egress features, e.g. number of exits, exit identification & illumination, door hardware, and door swing.
WARNING! If an area is too crowded for an individual to make their way through the crowd in a reasonable & continual manner, the number of people shall be reduced immediately. A crowd control plan shall be created to manage the number of occupants in a house throughout the event, and all event security staff shall be familiar with the plan (OFC, Section 107.6, & 1004, 2003, ed.).
- All fire protection equipment shall be in place, serviceable, and not obstructed or concealed throughout the event. This includes: fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull stations, detectors, fire sprinklers, fire doors, EXIT signs, and emergency lights (OFC, Section 107.4, 2003 ed.).
- Open flame devices shall be prohibited inside the house during an event. This includes: smoking, candles, activated lighters, or any other device that emits an open flame (OFC, Section 308, 2003 ed.).
- A post-event inspection shall be conducted to ensure: smoking material (though prohibited) has not been left behind, fire protection features are still in place and operable, exitways are clear and serviceable, and residents and/or guests are NOT sleeping in areas not approved for such use (i.e. study rooms).
NOTE: Civil penalties will be issued for fire/life safety violations and range in amount up to $500 per violation for, but not limited to (CMC 7.08.080 2000 ed.):
- Blocking or obstructing an exitway
- Failure to restore fire protection equipment
- Failure to maintain EXIT signs or emergency lighting
- Tampering with fire equipment/appliances
- Using an area of a building in a manner not approved for such use (i.e. sleeping in study rooms)
- Failure to remove combustible decorative material
For any questions regarding these or any other fire/life safety precautions please call the Corvallis Fire Department at (541) 766-6903.