USC takes every precaution to prevent and mitigate the effects of fire. The Office of Fire Safety and Emergency Planning focuses on campus fire-prevention and response in a number of areas:

  1. Fire Safety Training
    We offer fire-safety training to all campus staff, including instruction on fire-extinguisher use. Resident Advisers in university-owned residence halls receive training every fall, and staff members and students who work in laboratories where flammable chemicals are used receive training several times a year.
  2. Building Evacuation Drills
    Fire evacuation drills are conducted periodically for all university-owned buildings, with particular focus on residence halls, high-rise structures and health-care facilities, where fire drills are conducted every semester.
  3. Building Emergency Response Teams (BERT)
    Building Emergency Response Teams in all 225 university-owned buildings receive training in fire-emergency procedures and evacuation protocols.
  4. Safety Inspections
    Staff conduct annual safety inspections for all university buildings to help identify and correct potential fire hazards. To request a fire inspection, send email to
  5. Fire Safety Compliance
    The USC Office of Fire Safety and Emergency Planning enforces fire-prevention rules for all university-owned buildings.


    The following are prohibited:

    • Open flames, such as candles and incense
    • Smoking
    • Halogen lamps
    • Overloading electrical circuits with too many appliances or other pieces of equipment
    • Tampering with or disabling fire-safety equipment, such as smoke detectors
    • Leaving kitchen stovetops unattended in university residence halls