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Fire & Life Safety Division

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Overview

The Fire Prevention and Life Safety team provides a variety of services for the UTSA community in our role as part of the Risk Management & Life Safety Division of EHSRM. Whether we are delivering safety training, reviewing construction plans for fire code compliance, or walking the campuses to visually inspect our inventory of over 1,600 fire extinguishers, we serve to extend opportunities for people at UTSA to develop an exit strategy to escape fire and other emergency situations.

Buildings

Campus gross square footage

UTSA is a rapidly growing institution, and the responsibilities of the Fire Prevention and Life Safety team grow and change with it. We maintain the safety of our instructional, residential, and support areas with:

  • Fire Alarm Evacuation Exercises (Fire Drills): We coordinate with the UTSA Police Department Office of Business Continuity and Emergency Management and UTSA Facilities to test campus buildings and their occupants annually. We plan, implement, monitor and report on these exercises to help ensure that emergency evacuation procedures are current and effective.
  • Egress inspections: We inspect major campus buildings with an emphasis on assembly occupancies. During these mandatory inspections, we identify life safety deficiencies that would prevent occupants from rapidly exiting the building, and promptly work to have them corrected.
  • Residential inspections: Our inspectors team up with Campus Living Villages as well as Housing and Residential Life staff to inspect residential buildings each Fall and Spring semester. We take this opportunity to identify hazards within campus housing and educate tenants about fire safety as well as UTSA policies.

Portable Fire Protection Equipment

Over all three campuses, UTSA buildings contain over 1,600 fire extinguishers. The Fire Prevention and Life Safety Team ensures that each one is ready for use in an emergency.

  • Monthly and Annual Inspections: We inspect each one of these devices every month to ensure they are in their proper location and are in good working order. We also conduct a detailed annual inspection to ensure our extinguishers are free of physical damage.
  • Maintenance: For more labor-intensive service, we contract with vendors equipped to perform hydrostatic testing and equipment recertification. Our detailed inventory database assists us with the scheduling of this required maintenance.

Training

Our team provides the following training courses for UTSA staff and faculty:

Live Fire Trainer
A live fire trainer exercise
  • SA 0411: Live Fire Trainer: This course provides a hands-on fire extinguisher training experience. Attendees will be given the opportunity to extinguish a live fire on a propane-powered fire simulator.
  • SA 0473: Fire Safety for Home and Office: This course covers the basics of fire and life safety in your home or office. Topics of discussion include: types of fires, extinguishing requirements, fire extinguisher use, structural life safety features, fire suppression systems, fire prevention, and building evacuation strategies.
  • SA 0495: Fire Codes in Construction: Introduction: This course provides a brief outline of the laws, codes, and standards that apply to UTSA buildings, including fire protection standards for portable fire extinguishers, sprinklers, fire pumps, and fire alarm systems, along with plans review and system acceptance requirements for each.
  • SA 0496: Fire Codes in Laboratories: Introduction: This course provides a brief outline of the laws, codes, and standards that apply to fire protection in UTSA laboratories, and a review of tactical fire response to UTSA laboratories and how codes apply for those purposes.

These classes are available to departments upon request. We can also provide this content to students, whether at an event or in the context of coursework. Call us!

Construction

North Paseo Building - October 2013
  • Plan Review: Our staff reviews project documents for new construction, as well as for modifications and renovations scheduled on campus, for any relevant life safety or fire protection issues. We strive to achieve a code compliant system at project completion.
  • Construction Inspection: The Fire and Life Safety Team inspects on-going construction projects to ensure that UTSA receives buildings in a condition that is safe to occupy. Again, we seek to achieve an occupancy that complies with code at project completion.
  • Acceptance Testing: We monitor final acceptance testing of fire protection systems for these projects to ensure that the systems will perform to their specifications, listings, and design standards as well as code requirements.
  • Hot Work Permits: A hot work permit must be obtained prior to any UTSA personnel or contractor performing cutting, welding or other related hot work at any of the UTSA campuses and/or satellite locations. For work conducted by UTSA, the personnel assigned to the work, or his/her supervisor, contacts the Fire Prevention and Life Safety Team to obtain the permit. For work performed by a contractor, the permit process will include an on-site evaluation, equipment inspection, and confirmation that the contractor has a valid fire extinguisher. To better accommodate both parties, we ask that the permit request be made at least one business day in advance.

Special Event Support

Cannon fire at the 2012 Folklife festival
Cannon fire at the 2012 Folklife festival

The Fire Prevention and Life Safety Team provides safety services to special events on all three UTSA campuses. At these events, our personnel inspect cooking operations, review electrical usage, and monitor event conditions to help ensure everyone enjoys a safe and successful event. The Fire Prevention and Life Safety Team also implements a unified inspection process with San Antonio Fire Department for pyrotechnics events.

Have An Exit Strategy

Fire in a dorm room? Club or concert venue? Public building? Your chance of survival rests entirely on your ability to reach an unblocked exit. You have sixty seconds. Go.

UTSA's Fire Prevention and Life Safety Team supports the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office's "Have an Exit Strategy" initiative. Read more at http://www.haveanexitstrategy.com. Contact us for giveaways!

Click to see the Campus Fire Log and Campus Fire Safety Reports.


Contact the Fire & Life Safety Division.