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University Campus Fire Safety

Fire safety is everyone's responsibility

Vanderbilt is a smoke-free campus

no smoking symbol Smoking is prohibited in all buildings on the Vanderbilt campus.  Smoking is also prohibited outside on the Vanderbilt campus,
with the exception of designated smoking locations.

Special Events on Campus


Open flame activities must be submitted for review and approval. Even approved open flame activities are subject to cancellation or postponement during unsafe weather conditions or other exigent circumstances.

If you or a university organization are planning to host an approved event on campus and you intend to use fire-related items such as lanterns or pyrotechnics, you must request approval at least 3 business days in advance. Please contact Jessamyn Davis ( for assistance. 

If you would like to use a fire pit on campus, please submit for approval using the Fire Pit Regulations Form at least 3 business days prior to but no earlier than 30 days before the event date. Please note that submitting this form is not automatic approval. 

Having an event under a tent? You may need a fire watch. Fill out the Fire Watch Personnel form so we can determine your event's specific needs. 

Note: Additional information and a site visit from the Office of Emergency Management may be required prior to approval. The submission of the request form is not automatic approval. 

NEW: Refer to our Safety Checklist for special events. 

Fire Drills

  • The Office of Emergency Management within VU Public Safety, along with the Office of Housing and Residential Education, schedules and conducts fire drills for all campus residence halls. Click here for the designated Residence Hall Evacuation Rally Points. 
  • Non-residential campus fire drills are conducted by the Office of Emergency Management upon request from building or department administrators. For assistance with conducting a fire drill, please email Jessamyn Davis


The Office of Emergency Management provides annual fire safety training to select departments at the University. However, departmental training is conducted upon request, and will cover fire growth basics, response, extinguisher safety, evacuation, and more. 

To schedule a fire safety training for your office or department, please email Jessamyn Davis

VUPD and VEHS Fire and Life Safety Services

  • VUPD is the primary contact for the Metropolitan Nashville and State of Tennessee Fire Marshal's Offices.  If a Fire Marshal schedules an inspection for your building, contact VUPD in advance of the scheduled date so that a Safety Officer will be able to attend.  VUPD, VEHS and other departments will work with you to implement any recommendations or required changes resulting from an inspection.
  • VUPD can also help with
    1. Evaluation of exit access, especially in large assembly areas prior to events with 1000 or more anticipated attendees.
    2. Development of criteria for fire and life-safety systems when planning for occupancy changes, operational changes, remodeling, or additions to buildings. When necessary, VEHS will help you develop interim life safety measures to implement during the construction.
    3. Review of existing building and department-specific Evacuation Plans, and suggestions for refinements and improvements.

Questions?  Contact us.