Policies + Disclosures

Safety Guidelines and Restrictions

RISD strives to ensure that the residential environment is safe, but the primary responsibility for safe behavior rests with students. This becomes increasingly important in areas such as apartments, where staff supervision is minimal. The following guidelines have been developed to safeguard you and your friends. Please read them carefully and follow them closely.

To min­imize the risk of fire, please adhere to the following:

  • Fire ignition sources (halogen lamps, hot glue guns, hair dryers, etc.) should be kept away from any combustible material. Additionally, the room’s heating unit or radiator must be kept clear of combustible material.
  • If you use posters, wall hangings or other items to decorate your room, wall coverings should not exceed about 30% of your wall's surface area. All such decorations must be affixed flat against the walls so that flames cannot reach both sides.
  • Nothing should be placed covering or impeding the efficacy of sprinkler heads, smoke detectors, or light fixtures. Nothing should ever be hung from a sprinkler pipe.
  • Absolutely no cloth, paper or other flammable material (including lamp shades) can be hung from the ceiling. Small “window treatments” are permitted, but curtains may only be used if they are verifiably fire retardant.
  • Candles, oil lamps, incense, fireworks and explosives, melting paraffin or wax, blow torches or any other sources of open flame are not allowed in residence halls.
  • Student rooms should be kept reasonably free of clutter. Do not allow flammable supplies such as twigs, newspaper, cardboard, etc. to accu­mulate. Student-supplied furniture must be in good condition. Upholstered pieces are limited to one additional seat per resident.
  • Corrosive or flammable solvents and other such materials should not be used in student rooms (see Chemical Handling for additional information).

Electrical Appliances

  • Cooking is permitted only in designated kitchen areas. When cooking, never leave food unattended. Avoid broiling and beware of smoke and vapors caused while frying as either may trigger the living unit’s smoke detectors. Cooking appliances are not allowed in student sleeping rooms with the excep­tion of one coffee maker or one small, enclosed water heater per room (if the appliance is U.L.-listed). Microwaves are allowed in kitchen areas or, in the Hill Houses or the Quad, only as part of the combination refrigerator/microwave units available for rent through the school.
  • Any electrical appliances or extension cords used in a residence hall must be Underwriter Laboratories (U.L.)-listed and in good working order. Neon lights, halogen and sun lamps are not allowed under any circumstance.
  • Residents may not add heating or cooling units to their living area, except in the Quad and Hill Houses, where one compact refrigerator of 4 cubic feet or less is allowed per room. Additional refrigerators are not allowed in the apartments or suites.
  • Any appliance or combination of appliances that overloads circuits is not allowed. Multi-outlet plugs and overloaded extension cords should not be used. No extension cords should ever be run under a rug or over a door or window. You may not plug one extension cord into another extension cord. We require the use of extension cords with built-in circuit breakers (power strips).
  • Tampering with or altering circuit breakers, smoke detectors or any part of the electrical system in a residence hall is strictly forbidden, and will automatically incur the minimum life safety fine of $250.

Additional Safety Guidelines

  • Nothing may be stored in the hallways, stairwells or entrances of any of the buildings. At no time should posters, paper or other flammable materials be hung from the ceilings of the hallways or workrooms. Projects or other student work left in a hallway or stairway will be removed and discarded. If you wish to create an installation in a public area, you must obtain prior permission by completing a Crit Application Form available from Public Safety.
  • Bicycles should be stored in designated areas or your room, not public areas of the residence halls. Never lock your bike to stair railings or anywhere that blocks a means of egress during emergencies. All bicycles should be registered with the Department of Public Safety.
  • No one should be on any roof or fire escape of any building, at any time, except in an emergency.
  • Nothing should be dumped, poured, thrown or otherwise disposed of from the windows of any residence hall. To comply with Providence ordinances, residents may not display signs or other objects in windows of residences.
  • Water pistols or any similar device that sprays water should not be used in a residence hall.
  • The hallways and interior public areas of the residence halls, as well as the courtyards in the Quad are not to be used for skateboarding, scooters, other wheeled devices or playing sports.
  • Please contact the Residence Life Office before hosting an organized activity in the upper or lower Quads, the Amphitheater, the Charles Landing pool area or Nickerson Green.
  • Residence hall lounges and hallways may not be used as work areas. Designated workrooms should be used for such purpose.
  • Where kitchens are provided, use is restricted to food preparation. Please clean up after yourself!
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Biking is big at RISD – despite the killer hill.