Fire Safety

The Office of Fire Safety at St. John's University, a unit within the Department of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for:

  • Researching, preparing and distributing Fire Safety Plans
  • Provide professional and technical information in the area of fire suppression, fire detection and fire education
  • Ensure compliance with all federal, state and municipal fire safety codes and regulations
  • Interface with municipal Fire Inspectors and all Fire Department Officials
  • Represent the University in all matters relating to fire Safety
  • Advise the University on all current and proposed fire legislation
  • Conduct and evaluate all fire drills
  • Establishing the Incident Command System for fire-related incidents.
  • Establish a year round holiday decoration policy.

Department Contact

Department of Environment, Health and Safety
168-10 Goethals Avenue
Queens, NY 11439

Queens Campus

Emergency Phone:
718-990-5252 or 911

Staten Island Campus

Emergency Phone:
718-390-4487 / 4488 or 911


Learn More

In order to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season, all members of the University community must adhere to the following Decorations Policy:

  • All decorations, to include artificial Christmas trees, must be either inherently fire retardant or treated with a fire retardant chemical — and be so labeled 
  • Real candles that can be lit are not allowed for any indoor ceremonies
  • Christmas trees and any other holiday decorations should not be placed in any required exit passageway
  • Artificial trees may be decorated with electric lights. However, only U.L. listed miniature lights, in perfect working condition, may be used. METALLIC TREES SHOULD NOT BE DECORATED WITH ANY TYPE OF ELECTRICAL DECORATIONS OR DEVICES

If you have any questions, please call the FIRE SAFETY Office at extensions 2587 or 6389.

In the event of a fire, stay calm. Evacuate the building. If you must take immediate action, use your judgement as to the safest course of action, guided by the following information.

If there is a Fire in Your Area:

  • Close the door to the room where the fire is and leave the room.
  • Take your keys.
  • Close, but do not lock the door.
  • Alert people on your floor by pulling the fire alarm box handle on your way to the exit.
  • Use the nearest stairway to leave the building.
  • Do not use the elevator.
  • Call x5252 (Queens)  x4487 (Staten Island) once you reach a safe location. Do not assume the fire has been reported unless firefighters are on the scene.
  • Assemble outside the building. Notify the firefighters if anyone is unaccounted for.

If the Fire is Not in Your Area:

  • Evacuate when you hear a fire alarm signal or someone shouting "fire".
  • When you exit, first feel the door and doorknob for heat. If they are not hot, open the door slightly and check the hallway for smoke, heat or fire.
  • If you can safely exit, follow the instructions above for a fire in your room.
  • If you cannot safely exit your building, call x5252 (Queens)  x4487 (Staten Island) and tell them your location and the number of people in your area.
  • Seal the doors to your room with wet towels or sheets and seal air ducts or other openings where smoke may enter.
  • Open windows a few inches unless flames and smoke are coming from below.
  • Do not break any windows.
  • If conditions in the room appear life threatening, open a window and wave a towel or sheet to attract the attention of firefighters.
  • If conditions worsen before help arrives, get down on the floor and take short breaths through your nose.

Heating Season Safety Tips
As the weather cools and we approach winter, following these fire safety tips will ensure a safe environment for all. Whether here at the University, or at home, Fire Prevention is our best defense against fires.

  • Make certain smoke detectors are installed on every level of your home and outside every sleeping area. Install Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors outside of all sleeping areas. These detectors should be tested monthly.
  • Have your heating systems and chimneys inspected, cleaned and repaired prior to the heating season.
  • Fireplaces and wood burning stoves should be inspected annually and cleaned as needed. Fireplaces should be fitted with a glass front or a mesh screen to protect against flying sparks.
  • Only use space heaters with the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) safety listing. The heater should be placed on the floor, away from combustible materials (3 feet) and out of high traffic areas. Never leave the heater unattended, and unplug the unit when going to bed or leaving the house.  [Note: Space heaters are not permitted in any St. John’s residential building.]
  • If you smell natural gas in your home or apartment, evacuate immediately and use a phone outside to call the proper authorities.