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Fire and Life Safety

Fire and life safety programs at Portland State University create and maintain a fire safe environment for faculty, staff and students. This is done through regular fire inspections with the fire marshal’s office, emergency evacuation planning, work place safety evaluations, ADA needs evaluations, and Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs). 

Fire Inspections

PSU buildings are scheduled for general inspections in two (2) year intervals by the Portland Fire Marshal’s Office, based on hazard type. It is because of this long duration between inspections that PSU’s Fire & Life Safety Officer conducts ongoing inspections of all PSUs buildings through the year in an effort to maintain Fire and life safety code compliance.

You can do your part by keeping your work place clutter free and fire safe. Some of the most common violations are as follows:

1.  Remove obstruction and/or combustible material from exit-ways, stairways (includes under) and fire escapes. (OR Fire Code 315, OR Fire Code 1003.6).

The safest way out of your place of business in an emergency is through the exits. Make sure that storage and merchandise are kept clear of exits and exit paths. Clear any combustible materials from under stair cases.

2.  Secondary exits must be clearly marked; ensure that illuminated exit signs are fully lit at all times. (OR Fire Code 1011).

Generally all exits except the main entrance are required to have an ‘EXIT’ sign.  If there are lighted exit signs, all bulbs must be illuminated when the building is occupied. If your exit signs are missing or not functioning, please call 5-2FIX or submit/request a work order.

3.  Repair fire doors to their automatic self-closing and latching condition. Remove all wedges and door stops. (NFPA 80, OR Fire Code 703.2)

Doors that have self-closing devices are designed to keep fire and smoke from spreading to other areas of the building. Wedges and door stops that hold these doors open reduce your chances of escape in the event of a fire. This practice allows for more rapid spread of fire and smoke throughout the building and increases the amount of fire damage.

4.  Discontinue use of extension cords and multi-plug adapters. (UL listed multiple-outlet strips with circuit breakers are acceptable). (OR Fire Code 605.5OR Fire Code 605.10.3)

Extension cords are designed only for use with portable appliances (eg. drill, buffer, grinder) not in place of permanent wiring. Multi-plug adapters are never allowed. The use of extension cords and non-approved, multi-plug adapters may overload the electrical circuit, UL listed multiple-outlet strips with built in circuit breaker protection are allowed in lieu of extension cords. These outlet strips must plug directly into the wall outlet and the appliance must plug into the outlet strip.

5.  Provide cover plates to all open electrical boxes and switches (OR Fire Code 605.6, NFPA 70 370-25, 370-28 c)

All electrical boxes, including outlet receptacles, wall switches, and junction boxes, shall be covered with a cover plate. Breaker panel covers and breaker plates shall be installed in electrical panels. The cover plate shall be replaced if damaged, chipped, or cracked. Bare wires shall never be exposed. Please call 5-2FIX or submit/request a work order if you discover any uncovered wiring.

6.   Maintain 30” clearance in front of, and clear access to, all electrical panels. (OR Fire Code 605.3OSHA 1910.303OSHA 1926.403, NFPA 70E)

An area or path measuring 30 inches wide and 78 inches high must be maintained free of any obstructions or storage to and in front of the electrical panel. This includes the door that enters the electrical room or any pathway that may be necessary to reach the electrical panel.

7.  Inspect fire extinguisher(s) annually. (OSHA 1910.157, NFPA 10 6.2.1, OR Fire Code 901.6)

Annual maintenance by a certified company is required for portable fire extinguishers, if you notice a fire extinguisher has not been inspected in over a year, please call 5-2FIX or submit/request a work order.

8. Provide approved address identification for building including suite or unit numbers (letters), plainly visible and contrasting to background color. (OR Fire Code 505)

It is important that your address be visible from the street fronting your property. If you notice that your address identification is obstructed, please call 5-2FIX or submit/request a work order.


 Any questions please contact the Fire & Life Safety Officer at 503-725-4325.


Emergency Evacuation Plans

Every building on campus has unique needs and requires its own emergency plan. Visit the Fire Warden page to learn more about evacuation plans.  

For more emergency planning resources, visit PSU Emergency Management

Fire Safety Evaluation

If you have questions on fire safety or are concerned about your work place safety, please contact EHS for an evaluation.  

See Fire Prevention for Everyone for tips on keeping your workplace fire-safe.
Watch College Fire Survival 101 for ideas and plans related to campus fire safety. 

AED Program

The PSU AED Program was created to support the many AEDs located in many PSU buildings.   For more information on this program, including locations and liability rules, click here.

Disaster Prepardness

For recommendations on what to include in a basic disaster prepardness kit, click here. Visit the Red Cross Plan & Prepare and websites for more disaster prepardness information.

ADA and Emergencies


Miguel Bautista
Fire & Life Safety Officer
Portland State University 
Phone: 503-725-3738
Fax: 503-725-4329