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EH&S identifies out-of-compliance items

After Texas Woman's regularly scheduled State Fire Marshal’s Office inspection, the Environmental Health & Safety team identified key items across campus that are commonly out of compliance. As part of the response to the issues, EH&S will be walking buildings on campus and leaving notices that bring awareness of these issues to their occupants. If you receive one of these notes, please correct the listed violation promptly.

            Here are some of the items that were noted from the inspection:

  • Blocked exit routes – In the event of a fire, you need a way to go! All walking areas should have at least 44 inches of clearance. Additionally, stairwells and exit doors should be completely clear of potential blockages.
  • Appliances powered by a power strip – High draw devices -- namely anything with a heating element attached to it -- should not be powered by a power strip.
  • Extension cords in permanent use – Extension cords are for temporary use only and should not be used to power devices for more than a few days. Permanent extension cords can create trip hazards and fire risks by overheating or breaking due to their flexibility. Double trouble!
  • Noncompliant heater – Space heaters must meet many criteria to be used safely in the workplace. They must be electric, monitored when in use, and have a tip-over shut-off safeguard. They also should not be used within 3 feet of any combustible items.
  • Damaged cord in use – Electrical cords on everything from lamps to phone chargers can experience wear and tear. When these result in a cord with visible damage or exposed wiring, it’s time to change them out (and no, electrical tape does not solve the problem). Be especially sure to check flexible wiring and items with heating elements that could damage the wire’s protective coating.
  • Linked power strips or UPS – Also known as “daisy chaining”, linking power strips together, power strips to extension cords, or power strips to UPS can result in overloads and fire hazards. Please only use one of these items at a time.

Though these are common findings, there is a plethora of potential violations that these citations may note. If you would like to read more about the hazards that EH&S will be considering, please visit TWU’s Fire Safety website.