Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety

Akron, Ohio 44325-0607
(330) 972-6866

Regulations

The University of Akron is under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Fire Code, Ohio Building Code, related accepted engineering standards, and referenced sections of the National Fire Codes. All of these laws and standards have been adopted through the Ohio Revised Code. All questions concerning the regulations should be directed to our department.

Frequently asked questions and noted violations:

(A) Candles or other open flame devices
The Fire Code does not permit open flames of any nature in an occupied business or educational facility without approval of the fire official. The exception to this rule is when a candle is being used as part of a ceremony, and is well secured in a globe with a solid base to prevent tipping. Candles have been inspected and approved for some areas of food service, parties, and other special events. Candles are not to be permitted in areas where people stand or in an aisle or exit.


(B) Bonfires or other types of outdoor open burning

Notification of any outdoor open burning must be sent to the Akron Air Quality Management Office at least two weeks prior to the event. To obtain information and/or forms, contact them at 330-375-2108.

All open burning shall be at least 50 feet away from any structure. Fire in approved containers shall be at least 15 feet from any structure.

All open burning must be constantly attended until the entire fire is extinguished.

Portable fire extinguishers, sand, shovels, garden hose or other fire-fighting equipment shall be on-site.

A bonfire shall not be more than 5 feet by 5 feet by 5 feet in dimension. It should be designed to burn for no more then 3 hours. The fire official must approve any bonfire of duration longer than 3 hours.

Fuel for the bonfire must be only seasoned wood. Using a fire for waste disposal is prohibited.


(C) Egress
The means of egress, commonly referred to as exits, shall be maintained in safe condition at all times. Means of egress include, but are not limited to, intervening room spaces, hallways, aisles, corridors, stairs, doors, lobbies, sidewalks, courts and yards.

All means of egress shall be kept free of snow, ice, and debris.

A structure, building, floor or space cannot be altered in any manner, which will reduce the number of means of egress. Structures under renovation or construction shall maintain the means of egress or obtain approval for other measures of equivalent safety.


Means of egress from all portions of a structure shall be maintained in a manner to allow free and immediate exit from the facility. No obstructions shall be permitted in a means of egress. Aisles, passageways, stairs, halls, or similar elements of the means of egress shall not be reduced or obstructed by displays, tables, showcases, vending machines, decorations, coat racks, or other stationary or moveable equipment. Storage is NOT permitted in a means of egress including under the stairs.


An exit shall not be used for any other purpose that will interfere with its function as a means of egress.


Aisles shall have a clear width of at least 36 inches in occupancies less than 50 and a clear width of 44 inches in occupancies over 50 persons. Tables, chairs, or other objects shall not obstruct this clear width.


Exit doors, and doors leading into exit corridors or stairs, are required to be operable without special knowledge or key. In rooms and spaces with occupancy over 100 people, panic hardware is required for egress doors. In rooms with less than 50 people, the doors may have regular hardware and may swing inward. Sliding doors and rolling doors are not permitted for exit doors.


Stairwells that are means of egress shall have doors which can be opened from either side without special knowledge or key, unless the fire official approves security devices.


Emergency lights and exit lights shall be in operating order at all times the building is occupied. Doors that can be confused as an exit must be marked, “Not an Exit.”


(D) Storage
All storage must be neat and orderly. Storage shall not be stacked so high that it becomes unstable.

Storage must be confined to approved storage areas.

Storage in buildings equipped with sprinkler systems must keep all items down at least 18 inches under the level of the sprinkler heads. The rule is 20 inches below the ceiling or 18 inches below the level of the heads, whichever is greater.

Storage shall not be permitted in mechanical equipment rooms.

Storage is not permitted under exit stairs, or other elements of exits.

(E) Compressed gas cylinders
All compressed gas cylinders shall be chained or firmly secured upon arrival to campus.

L-P gas cylinders are not permitted in occupied buildings over 2-½ lbs. When attached to a device. Extra cylinders shall not be stored in the building.


(F) Flammable Fuel
Motor vehicles using a flammable fuel are not permitted in university buildings.

(G) Fireworks
Fireworks are not permitted to be stored in any University building.

Fireworks shall not be discharged on university property except by licensed pyrotechnical firms with approval from the fire officials.