In order to maintain a safe environment for students in Bethel housing, a number of safety systems have been installed and regulations have been developed to aid these systems.
Misuse of the firefighting equipment and systems, tampering with the fire alarms, removal of the smoke detector system or battery, any violation of the fire code, or violation of any of the following safety guidelines may result in any or all of the following consequences: a fine of up to $250, billing for maintenance repair costs, prosecution under Minnesota statutes, and possible removal from housing.
1. Candles, incense, hookah pipes, and kerosene lamps. Due to the fire hazard involved, the burning of candles, incense, hookah pipes, and kerosene lamps in the residences is prohibited. Exception: candles on birthday cakes.
2. Christmas decorations. The use of live Christmas trees is prohibited in all Bethel housing. Students must remove Christmas decorations in common areas before leaving for Christmas break. Decorations left up during Christmas break will be removed and discarded by Facilities Management.
3. Cooking appliances. The use of cooking appliances is not allowed in the traditional residence halls or townhouses. There is a fire hazard from electrical overload due to cooking; therefore, such activities must be restricted. Exceptions are: toasters (toaster ovens are not allowed), coffee makers, Foreman grills, microwaves, and the use of appliances provided in the common areas.
4. Extension cords. Only grounded (three-pronged) extension cords and circuit breaker protected power strips are allowed. Multiple extension cords cannot be used together.
5. Fire alarms, firefighting equipment. Alarms and fire fighting equipment are located throughout each building for the protection of the residents. Tampering with fire extinguishers or equipment, placing false alarms, or interfering with the proper functioning of the fire alarm system will be just cause for disciplinary action and prosecution under Minnesota statutes. Anyone who intentionally engages in the above activities is guilty of a misdemeanor. Fire doors must remain closed at all times. All the residence halls have centralized fire alarm systems that are checked frequently to ensure they are in proper working order. These systems are provided for students’ safety, and any tampering with them is not only unlawful but also risks the safety of others living in that residence. Lake Johanna Fire Department requires a mandatory evacuation during all fire alarms, including false alarms and fire drills. Failure to evacuate may result in a fine.
6. Fireworks. State law prohibits the possession or use of explosive and aerial fireworks. Prohibited fireworks include (but are not limited to) firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles, Roman candles, mortars, and shells. Sale, possession, and use of some non-explosive and non-aerial consumer fireworks is now permitted in Minnesota. However, Bethel’s policy is that the possession or use of all types of fireworks is strictly prohibited on Bethel’s property. Fireworks are potentially dangerous agents presenting serious fire hazards among other types of damage. Any infraction of campus policy or state law will result in fines, confiscation of materials, and possible prosecution in accordance with Minnesota state statutes.
7. Furnace rooms. It is unlawful to use furnace rooms for storage. The fire hazard from using furnace rooms for storage is extremely high; therefore, using it for storage is strictly prohibited. No materials of any kind may be put in furnace rooms. Failure to comply will result in a fire code fine.
8. Gasoline. Equipment and containers that contain gasoline or other explosive materials are not allowed in or near the residences. These include but are not limited to motorcycles and filled gas containers.
9. Hallway and common area decorations. Seasonal or holiday decorations may be displayed for limited periods of time to coincide with the appropriate season or holiday. In order to comply with fire code, the following regulations apply:
(a) Paper and other combustible materials may not cover more than 25 percent of a wall and may not be placed over ceiling lights.
(b) No lights may be suspended from ceilings.
(c) Electrical cords may not pass through doorways so as to be pinched by a closed door.
(d) No additional lights in common bathrooms, including Christmas lights. Other fire code violations must be corrected within the time frame established by the fire marshal.
10. Halogen lamps. Because of the extreme fire hazard, halogen lamps are prohibited in all residence areas. Failure to comply will result in a fine.
11. Open flame/grills. The use of personal charcoal, gas, or any other type of grill (exception: Foreman grills) is strictly prohibited on Bethel property. Personal grills will be confiscated. Charcoal grills are provided throughout campus near each residence area. Any kind of open flame is not allowed in Bethel housing facilities. This includes patios, balconies, townhouse stairwells, and window sills. A university-installed open fire pit is available for use behind the seminary and is the only exception to the open flame policy. Portable fire pits are strictly prohibited.
12. Projectiles. Potato cannons and paintball guns are strictly prohibited on campus. The possession and/ or use of these or other items that launch, sling, or put an object in motion at high velocity will result in a fine, disciplinary action, and the confiscation and forfeiture of the items. The only exception to this guideline is for items stored in accordance with guideline #6.
13. Smoke detectors. All rooms, suites, and apartments are equipped with battery-operated smoke detectors, which have been shown to save many lives. Students should ensure their smoke detector is operational. Do not remove the battery; fines will be assessed if the battery is missing. If the battery is low, resulting in the smoke detector “chirping,” call Facilities Management during business hours to request a new battery. After business hours, contact your resident director. Tampering with a smoke detector (removing, covering or otherwise disabling it) is grounds for a fine of up to $250.00 as previously stated.
14. Sprinkler systems. Some residence halls are equipped with sprinkler systems designed to combat and suppress fires. To ensure proper operation in the event of a fire, clothing should never be hung from, laid on, or otherwise be in contact with the sprinkler head or the pipes supplying the sprinkler head. Also, no piece of furniture, loft, or any other object should be placed so as to block the flow of water from the sprinkler head.
15. Tampering with any Bethel electrical equipment or device is a fire code violation and subject to a fine.
16. Trash. Garbage and trash left in halls or stairwells is a fire code violation and subject to a fine.
17. Weapons. Weapons of any kind, including but not limited to handguns, rifles, shotguns, other firearms, knives, stun guns/tasers, potato cannons, paintball guns, pellet/ BB guns, martial arts weaponry, bows, slingshots, and any other devices used in game or sporting activities, including ammunition, arrows, or other types of projectiles associated with such items, are prohibited on Bethel property. This prohibition is to be interpreted in the broadest sense to include any such weaponry and further extends to “toy” or facsimiles thereof that can cause bodily harm or threat to other persons. An exception to the above prohibition is that persons who reside in campus housing may possess game hunting or trap shooting firearms as long as they are both (a) registered with Campus security and (b) stored by security personnel immediately after being brought on campus, while on campus, and taken from campus immediately after being returned to the owner from security storage. The weapons prohibition set forth above further extends to all Bethel-sponsored or related off-campus activities, including business, academic, sporting or leisure activities, related travel, or any other events involving Bethel. This prohibition against possession of weaponry explicitly includes vehicles owned or operated by Bethel or Bethel personnel. Campus security personnel are authorized to make reasonable inquiries and searches as necessary to enforce this policy. Anyone in violation of this policy will be subject to confiscation and forfeiture of the weapons and disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. For more information on security and safety guidelines visit the Security and Safety website at bethelnet.bethel.edu/security-safety.
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