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Disclosure of Fire Safety Standards and Measures (Section 485 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008) 20 USC 1092(i);34 CFR 668.49

Any institution participating in a Title IV federal student financial aid program that maintains on-campus housing facilities must track fire safety statistics as follows:

Annual Fire Safety Report

The school must, on an annual basis, publish a fire safety report with the following information:

A) statistics concerning the following in each on-campus student housing facility during the most recent calendar years for which data are available:

  • the number of fires and the cause of each fire
  • the number of injuries related to a fire that result in treatment at a medical facility
  • the number of deaths related to a fire
  • the value of property damage caused by a fire

B) A description of each on-campus student housing facility fire safety system, including the sprinkler fire system;

C) The number of regular, mandatory, supervised fire drills;

D) Policies or rules on portable electrical appliances, smoking, open flames (such as candles), procedures for evacuation, policies regarding fire safety education and training programs provided to students, faculty, and staff; and

E) plans for future improvements in fire safety, if determined necessary by such institution.

Report to Secretary of Education

The statistics set forth in A above must be reported to the Secretary of Education on an annual basis. At this point in time, the format for reporting the statistics has not yet been established. The first report is due October 1, 2010.

Institutions of postsecondary education that participate in the Federal student financial assistance programs have been required by Section 485(a) and (f) of the Higher Education Act (HEA) to provide the Secretary with campus crime statistics since 1990. The Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315) (HEOA) was enacted on August 14, 2008 and reauthorizes the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The HEOA made a number of additions to campus security reporting requirements. This Summary of the New Campus Safety Disclosure Responsibilities is helpful for an overview. Fire Safety if one of the new requirements.

Final Rule, General and Non-Loan Programmatic Issues, 74 Fed. Reg.55902 (October 29, 2009)

These final rules implement various general and non loan provisions of the Higher Education Act as amended by the HEOA of 2008. Includes Fire safety rules.

Distribute Information to the Campus Community and Keep A log

Schools must (A) make, keep, and maintain a log, recording all fires in on-campus student housing facilities, including the nature, date, time, and general location of each fire, such entry to be made within two business days after receipt of the information. The log for the most recent 60 day period must be open to the public for inspection.

(B) make annual reports to the campus community on such fires. Schools would be required to publish the annual fire safety report by October 1 each year, with the first report due Oct. 1, 2010.