Building Fire Protection Systems

Fire-Protection Systems

Our Fire Safety team ensures that all university-owned residential buildings are equipped with automatic fire alarm systems and sprinklers. Learn about the various fire-protection systems that can help in an emergency.

Fire Alarms

A fire alarm does more than make noise. It integrates with many other building systems to optimize for occupant safety. Think of your building as a sentient space capable of spontaneously responding to heat, smoke and other danger signs.

At USC, most buildings are equipped with fire alarms, and newer buildings are equipped with the latest fire alarm comprehensive systems.

This technology can:

  • Detect smoke and heat
  • Send you notifications
  • Call the fire department
  • Identify the location of a problem
  • Shut smoke /fire dampers
  • Close fire doors
  • Turn off the HVAC systems
  • Pressurize stairwells
  • Unlock doors
  • Stop audio/video systems
  • Turn on egress lighting
  • Recall elevators

And when necessary, fire alarm systems can still be manually activated from an old-fashioned pull station.

Fire Sprinklers

A fire-sprinkler system is always ready to put a fire out, whether or not someone is in the building. These systems — installed in all newer xxx university buildings and retrofitted in most older buildings as well—will automatically activate with no user intervention and extinguish a fire in its early stages.

Emergency Lights

Emergency lights help evacuees get out of a building quickly and safely. These lights illuminate the shortest egress path during a power outage.

Exit signs

People tend to leave buildings the same way they came in. Exit signs are extremely important if you need to find an alternate route.

Fire Doors

Fire doors and dampers protect building occupants by compartmentalizing smoke and heat, helping to keep a fire from spreading quickly throughout a building.  Fire doors often have a self-closing latch. These doors close automatically when the alarm system is activated or when the system detects smoke or fire.

Fire Safety Resources

For additional information on fire safety policies and practices, we encourage you to consult the following documents:

Sterno Guidelines

Fire Watch Checklist

Hot Work Program Policy

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

For additional information and questions related to Fire Safety, email Jeff Pendley at pendley@usc.edu or Rob Forsberg at forsberg@usc.edu.