Resident Safety Program

Image of residence halls

George Mason University’s Resident Safety Program is focused on fire safety, life safety, and emergency preparedness for students living in campus residence halls. The Resident Safety Program is a collaboration between the Environmental Health and Safety Office  and The Office of Housing and Residence Life within University Life.

Family Member/Parent Resources

As a family member/parent of a residential student it is recommended that you become familiar with the specific regulations within the residence halls on the university campus. The Office of Housing and Residence Life within University Life has a complete listing of all regulations in the residential student handbook (

At the university all of our facilities fire safety specific incidents, prevention, and detection data can be located in the Annual Campus Safety and Fire Report on the University Police website ( Family members/parents are also encouraged to visit and discuss with their student the importance of preparedness while being a student at the university.


George Mason University expects that all members of our community play their part in keeping our community safe. The Office of Housing and Residence Life conducts inspections of all residence hall spaces each semester to ensure compliance with the Residential Student Handbook and the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code. Residence spaces and students that are not in compliance with Office of Housing and Life policies or the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code are given two weeks to 30-days (depending on the violation) to correct observed issues. The Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office conducts inspections of residence halls annually.

The top five most common violations of the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code in university residence halls are:

  1. Extension Cords used as permanent wiring. Extension cords may only be used on temporary basis.
  2. Multi-plug adapters that are not provided with fuse protection. Students are encouraged to use fused surge protectors that meet UL (underwriters laboratory) certifications for their space.
  3. Non-treated Window Coverings. All window coverings including but not limited to sheets, blankets, and actual window treatments are to be treated for fire resistance.
  4. Candles, incense, and open flames. Candles, incenses and other flame producing items are not permitted in the residence halls at any point in time.
  5. Obstructed exits and walkways. Furniture, personal possessions, or other items may not be positioned in a manner that restricts access or egress into or out of a residence hall or room.

Each residential student receives in their apartment and bathroom specific guidance on how to keep their residence hall clean and to cook appropriately to mitigate potential fire emergencies. Additional guidance is in the Residential Student Handbook. We strongly encourage all students to read the guidance placed in their space and take part in keeping their community safe.

Emergency Preparedness

Although we strive to prevent emergencies, accidents and incidents do occur on university campuses. George Mason University strongly encourages all university students, residents or otherwise, to be familiar with emergency response procedures. The Environmental Health and Safety Office and University Police have Rave Guardian, a campus safety mobile application that enhances preparedness and safety on-campus using interactive features and allowing students to create a virtual network of friends, family and campus safety personnel. The application is available to all students with a university email address for free through the iTunes store or the Google Play store. For more information on the Rave Guardian app, click here.

Staff – Housing and Residence Life

The Environmental Health and Safety Office and University Life partner to develop and train Housing and Residence Life staff on a variety of rigorous safety and preparedness topics. Resident Advisors, Neighborhood Assistants, Resident Directors and Desk Assistants complete a one-day training academy designed to test their skills in real life situations, such as; evacuating smoke filled environments and extinguishing small fires.