Fire Systems and Evacuation

Please note, any attempt to subvert fire systems or gas lines will be used as grounds for immediate eviction. This includes, but is not limited to, smoking on the premises, tampering with fire systems, and leaving gas stoves on. It is important for the safety of all residents that fire and safety protocols are followed.

Fire Alarm Systems

Emergency Power
In the event of a power outage, there is an emergency lighting system servicing all halls and common areas.  An emergency generator in the basement runs the system.

Sprinklers
There is an overhead sprinkler system with sprinklers in the hallways, common areas, and in every residential unit.  When heat reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit, sprinklers and the fire alarm will automatically trigger. The fire alarm system automatically alerts the Harvard Control Center, Harvard University Police, and Boston Fire Department.  However, in the event of a fire, residents are still encouraged to call 911.

Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide Alarms
Inside each unit, there is a local smoke detector. This smoke alarm will reset itself when the smoke clears from your unit. There is also a carbon monoxide detector in every unit. Please test both detectors on a weekly basis. If any unit malfunctions or is low on batteries, please notify HSPH Operations. Instructions for testing the nits are included in the user manual found on the Appliances, Furniture, and Utilities page.

Exterior and Hallways
The doors to all stairwells and elevator lobbies are designed to isolate a fire and hot fumes as much as possible.  In order to function properly, they must be kept closed at all times. All exterior emergency exit doors at the Ground floor level are connected to a central security alarm system.  These doors are to be used only in case of an emergency, and will signal the Harvard University Police Department.

Fire Extinguishers
Each building corridor and apartment unit is equipped with carbon dioxide (CO2, “dry ice”) fire extinguishers. Additional units are located in each corridor. A small CO2 fire extinguisher is provided under the kitchen sink in residential units to put out small cooking fires. Residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the location of fire extinguishers.

Evacuation Procedures

If a fire is burning out of control, do not attempt to put the fire out by yourself, and evacuate immediately.

When you see the strobe lights and hear the alarm horns, evacuate the building immediately and report to the designated assembly point, in the small park to the left of 195 Park Drive. The secondary assembly point will be in the park across the street.

If the location and source of the fire is known, please let the Boston Fire Fighters know when they arrive. Do not return to the building unless given an all clear from either your RCA, onsite security, or local first responders.

Fire Prevention

Do not overload electrical outlets.  Air conditioners must be plugged into the outlet located immediately underneath the windows. For all air conditioners in use, Shattuck House charges a one-time annual electrical usage fee of $75.00, payable by check or money order to Harvard University.

For residents adding additional lighting, please do not use light bulbs of a higher wattage than the fixture specifies. All overhead light fixtures specify bulbs that will be changed by HSPH Operations.

If you trip a electric circuit breaker in your apartment, please notify Operations immediately at 617-495-5560.

Do not put papers or flammable materials on top of lamps to cut down the amount of light. Do not collect newspapers, rags, paper bags, oily rags, paint, turpentine, or any combustible materials in your apartment. Do not leave plastic or paper on your stove. The use of candles is not allowed at Shattuck. Never use an electric appliance with a frayed cord.

Grease is an extremely dangerous fire hazard.  For this reason, as well as to discourage pests, the top of the stove and the oven should be cleaned regularly.

The Boston Fire Inspectors regularly inspect buildings for code violations.  Boston Fire Department regulations require that all public hallways must be kept clear of all obstacles (bicycles, baby carriages, boxes, etc.) Any personal items in the hallways may be removed without notice.

Gas Stoves

Natural Gas stoves are provided to every unit. Because of the potential danger associated with natural gas leaks, suppliers add the noxious scent to natural gas as an olfactory warning that the harmful vapors are loose in the air. The smell is commonly described as a rotten egg smell.

If you smell natural gas in your unit, please make sure all stove burners are in the off position, and open a window. If the smell persists, or if you suspect a leak or malfunction with your unit, please notify onsite security immediately.

Please double check to make sure your stove is off after cooking, prior to leaving your unit, and prior to going to bed. Residents can request special knob protector covers to prevent accidental bumping of the stove. Residents with small children will be issued a set.