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Housing & Residential Living


The safety of students is very important. As a result, the Carleton College has in place equipment, policies and procedures to help protect our residents. It is important that students be familiar with our policies and procedures so they can act responsibly to help keep themselves and others safe.

Fire Safety

The density of the population in the halls and houses, combined with the age of some of the buildings make fire safety an important issue for everyone. Like security, fire safety is the responsibility of every resident; one damaged smoke alarm or one overloaded extension cord can put the entire building at risk.

All residential facilities are protected by fire detection and fire fighting equipment. Each room has a smoke detector that will sound with a limited amount of smoke. Room detectors in the residence halls and the public areas of the houses are wired to a central alarm system. Should the battery in a smoke detector need replacement, contact the Maintenance Office at Ext. 4133 during the normal work week (M-F,8-5) and Security Services at Ext. 4444 after hours. Students are not to remove batteries. Always contact Security to silence/disconnect a detector (even if the detector is malfunctioning). When an extinguisher is used for any reason, inform Hall Staff immediately so they can contact Security Services or the Maintenance and Custodial Office to have the extinguisher recharged.

If you spot a fire or smoke, sound the alarm immediately. Then, from a safe location call the fire department (9-911) and Security (ext. 4444), identify yourself, and give the appropriate information on the location.

When a fire alarm sounds, all residents of the hall/house MUST leave the building via the nearest exit. NEVER USE THE ELEVATOR AS A MEANS OF ESCAPE. Once the situation is resolved/investigated, the “all clear” will be given by Security and residents may reenter the building.

Students should acquaint themselves with the emergency escape plan of their living area. Throughout the year the fire alarm system is tested in each residence hall to assure that it is in working order. When an alarm sounds all residents must vacate the facility via the nearest exit to ensure their safety and to ascertain the cause of the alarm. Residents will be permitted to re-enter the building when Security Services personnel have determined it is safe to do so. If possible, before leaving the room, residents should close all windows, turn lights on, and exit via the stairwells, not the elevators. Residents should notify their RA, House Manager, or Area Director immediately if they believe that a smoke detector or other fire fighting equipment is malfunctioning.

Tampering with equipment is not only against College policy and federal law, it jeopardizes the safety of every resident of that building. Discharging fire extinguishers, setting off fire alarms under false pretenses or failing to leave the building when a fire alarm sounds have life-threatening implications. In addition to any local municipal action, the College reserves the right to initiate formal disciplinary charges for these offenses. The minimum fine for a first offense is $200 plus the cost of restoring the equipment to its original condition.

Safety inspections are conducted by Residential Life Staff in all student residential facilities. During Fall term residents and staff identify any potential fire or safety hazards existing within rooms and alert residents as to hazards. Fire drills are conducted each term. Residents are expected to comply with the fire safety guidelines provided and to remedy any existing problem. Hallways should remain clear at all times as furniture or personal belongings left in the hallway block access and increase risk of personal injury. Electrical cords are not to be run through hallway doors due to increased risk of fire. Residents are not to have items or materials in their rooms, nor are they to decorate their rooms, in a manner that could increase the risk of fire.

Keeping Your Room Safe

Security and safety are a primary concern. Since many students are away from home for the first time and are unaware of the normal difficulties of residence hall living, procedures have been established to try to help protect the occupants and the buildings.

Carleton provides locks on all residence rooms and our traditional residence halls (Burton, Davis, Goodhue, Musser, Myers, Nourse, Parish, Severance, Watson). Cassat, James, Evans, and the Village Apartments are equipped with an electronic door locking system which requires use of the OneCard. We ask that students carry their key and card at all times. Residents living in our houses are issued room and outside door keys and are encouraged to keep the outside door of the house locked.

Keeping doors locked is the best way to secure your property and yourself as well as those sharing your living quarters. Residents are encouraged to keep their rooms and the houses locked at all times, especially when sleeping or absent from the room/house. Be careful not to allow strangers to enter your room.

When entering a door that has the electronic locking system, please be certain not to let others “tailgate” in with you unless you know they have a OneCard and are authorized to be in the building. If someone insists on coming in without authorization, contact Security Services (ext. 4444) immediately.

If You Lose Your Room Key
If you lose your room key, Carleton will replace the lock and issue new keys to the resident(s) of the room. If you lose your room key, contact the Residential Life Office. A temporary key will be issued for three days allowing you time to look for the key. If you have not found the key within the three days, the room door will be recored. The $40 charge for a lost key will be billed to your student account. Each resident is responsible for creating a secure and safe environment through responsible use of keys, access cards, and using common sense.

If You Lose Your House Key
If you lose your house key Carleton will replace the exterior locks and issue new keys to the residents of the house.  If you lose your house key, contact the Residential Life Office.  A temporary house key will be issued for three days allowing you time to look for the key.  If you have not found the key within the three days, the exterior doors to the house will be recored.  The $100 charge for a lost house key will be billed to your student account.  Each resident is responsible for creating a secure and safe environment through responsible use of keys, access cards, and using common sense.

All currently enrolled Carleton students are issued a OneCard that provides access to all traditional residence halls. To maintain the security of our buildings, report lost or stolen cards as soon as possible to Residential Life (Ext. 4072) or Security Services (Ext. 4444).

Security and Safety

Safety is fundamental to group living. We need each resident to do his/her share in keeping our residential spaces safe for everyone. Please contact Security Services or Residential Life if you have any questions.


Residential Life, Ext. 4072

Security Services, Ext. 4444 (24 hours a day)

Severe Weather and Tornadoes

Living in the Midwest, we must contend with the threat of severe weather which may include tornado activity. On the first Wednesday of each month the city of Northfield tests the tornado warning system at 1 p.m.. In the event of a threat of a tornado approaching the area, the City will sound the warning siren. Should you hear the siren, please go immediately to the lowest level in the building. If there are windows at that level, please go to an inside corridor or any area without windows. Most buildings on campus have blue and white signs to identify safe areas. You should stay within the safe area until the all clear siren sounds. In the event of a tornado warning, Security Services and Residential Life will work with students and staff to move individuals to safe areas.

Intruders and Theft

The College is not responsible for the personal belongings of students. Students are advised to lock their room doors and the outside doors of the houses. Do not let anyone "tailgate" or enter an outside entrance without a College OneCard. It is recommended that valuables, such as computers, be insured and the serial numbers recorded. The Office of Residential Life provides information on how to obtain personal property insurance through a national insurance carrier.

Approved by Residential Life on July 25, 2007.

Keywords: fire, safety, fines, weather, tornadoes

Last Reviewed: Sep 15th, 2014

Maintained by Residential Life