Fire Prevention

Fire Safety on Campus

As a state-owned institution, San Jose State University is required to comply with the California State Fire Code. The Fire Marshal routinely inspects campus buildings to ensure that we are in compliance with these regulations. Each building on campus has designated managers, faculty, and/or staff members who periodically conduct informal inspections to ensure a safe learning environment.

This page identifies the most commonly found hazards on campus. Please take note of these items as they may relate to your work area. If you notice one or more of these items in your workspace, please work with your management team to take corrective action.


High-amp drawing appliances, such as coffee makers, refrigerators, and microwave ovens, must be plugged directly into a wall receptacle. They must not be plugged into a power strip, surge protector, or multi-tap adapter.

Space Heaters

Space heaters must be plugged directly into a wall plug and have a tip switch that turns the heater off if it tips over. Space heaters must not be plugged into a power strip, surge protector, or multi-tap adapter. The area around the space heater must be kept free of combustibles like loose paper or cardboard boxes. Space heaters that do not meet these specifications are not allowed.

Extension Cords

Extension cords are only allowed to provide temporary power to portable equipment. They may not be used in lieu of fixed wiring or permanent power. Please note that appliances (refrigerators, coffee makers, etc.) must always be plugged directly into a wall socket.

Daisy Chains

Surge protector power strips must be plugged into a wall receptacle. They may not be plugged into an extension cord or another power strip. This is called a daisy chain and can create a fire.

Upholstered Furniture

Residential furniture such as sofas and upholstered chairs are not allowed. Allowable furniture will have a manufacturer-attached tag indicating that it meets California Bulletin 117.

Rugs, Curtains and Tapestry

Residential floor rugs, non fire-rated window curtains, and fabric-based wall art or decorations are not allowed.

High Storage

Items cannot be stored within 18 inches of a room’s ceiling. If the area has fire sprinklers, 24-inch clearance is required.


In case of an emergency, it is crucial that exit paths be unobstructed so that occupants can quickly exit the building. For this reason, hallways, corridors, and assembly areas near elevators, entrances, and exits, must be clear of any movable items, including chairs, desks, and benches. Furniture in corridors must be approved by FD&O and must be installed in a manner that prevents it from becoming an obstruction.   


Organized and orderly workspaces are paramount to reducing fire hazards and ensuring egress in the event of an emergency. Excessive storage of combustibles is not permitted.


If you have any questions regarding these requirements, please contact the Environmental Health & Safety office: or 408-924-1969.