Life Safety

The Office of Disability Services and the Disability Housing Committee--in coordination with the Offices of Public Safety and Facilities Services--are
committed to researching, developing and implementing life safety strategies
which are responsive to the needs of all students with disabilities.

  1. Life Safety and Disability: Information Sheet
  2. Barnard Student Life Safety Information Card (LSIC)
  3. Residence Halls Strobe Alarms Update

As of 9/1/09, the following Barnard residence halls have one (or more) rooms that are equipped with a strobe/flashing alarm for use by students who are deaf or have other hearing impairments:

Hewitt (two rooms)
600 West 116 Street
620 West 116 Street
601 West 110 Street
Sulzberger/first-year housing (two rooms)

If you have a diagnosed hearing impairment and are unable to hear the standard floor audible alarm, please contact ODS as soon as possible to discuss your situation. Please note that since these systems are permanently
installed in designated room locations and are *not* portable, students must make their Disability Housing Requests well in advance of move-in and comply with all applicable Residential Life and Housing deadlines.


Life Safety and Disability: Information Sheet


All students are expected to evacuate immediately upon the sounding of a building fire alarm. Students with disabilities who are unable to evacuate independently must register with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) in 105 Hewitt and complete the Barnard Student Life Safety Information Card (LSIC) at the beginning of each new academic year. If needs change for any reason (e.g. move to a different location; study abroad; leave of absence or withdrawal), students are responsible for updating their LSIC on an as-needed basis.


During the academic year, copies of the LSIC will remain on file in ODS, the Office of Safety and Security, and in a confidential envelope located with each building desk attendant to be used in the event of a life-safety emergency. Students unable to self-evacuate due to mobility impairment, chronic illness flare-up, or other disability-related need must call Barnard Security @ 212/854-3362 at the sounding of a fire alarm and provide their name, location, and cell-phone number. Students unable to evacuate independently will *remain in place* in their rooms until an all-clear is sounded. In the event of an actual life-safety emergency which necessitates total evacuation, trained New York City Fire Department (NYFD) personnel will be dispatched and take responsibility.

Students with diagnosed hearing impairments who are unable to hear the fire alarm will be provided with a strobe (visual) alarm system or other devices as necessary.

Students with temporary disabilities; guests with disabilities

If you have a visitor with a disability during a life-safety emergency, it is your responsibility to follow the procedural guidelines in item #2. Persons unable to evacuate independently must call Barnard Security @ 212/854-3362 to identify themselves, their location, and cell-phone number. Students with temporary disabilities (broken leg; use of crutches or other assistive devices; etc.) should complete the Barnard Disability Life Safety Information Card (LSIC) at any time throughout the academic year, as needed, if unable to evacuate independently.

Special situations (not disability-related)

It has been brought to our attention that some nondisabled students may be unable to hear the fire alarm for any of the following reasons:

  • heavy sleeper
  • use of ear plugs
  • use of sleep medication
  • excessive drinking

Using self-advocacy and a Personal Responsibility Model (PRM), students unable to hear the fire alarm for any of the above-mentioned reasons are responsible for alerting a roommate, friend or neighbor *in advance* about their inability to hear an alarm--whether this is a permanent or temporary situation. Since all residents are expected to evacuate at the sounding of an alarm--Resident Assistants (RAs) cannot be available to go to individual student rooms to assist in evacuation. Please remember that self advocacy and personal responsibility are the keys to your safety in any life-safety emergency. When an alarm sounds, it is each individual student's responsibility to evacuate the building immediately. If you are unable to hear the alarm for any of the above reasons, advance planning is crucial.


This policy has been developed and approved by representatives from Disability Services, Residential Life and Housing, and Safety and Security--and is posted online on the websites of each of these three offices. For questions or additional information, please contact Director of Disability Services Morgan Murray @ 212/854-4634 or



Life Safety Information Card (LSIC)


* Students must stop by the Disability Office in 105 Hewitt to complete the Life Safety Information Card.


Barnard Student Life Safety Information Card

Name/class:                                                                      RA/floor:

Residence hall/Room #:                                                     Phone:

Date completed:                                                                Email:

Do you have a chronic medical condition or physical disability?

Yes _____               No _____                Permanent/Temporary (circle one)

If yes, please check the box below which is most appropriate:

       I cannot go down stairs independently

       I can manage some stairs; the most I can walk is _____ flights

       I must be accompanied on fire stairs

       (check if this pertains to you for any of the following reasons:

       tendency to panic, visual impairment, chronic medical condition, other)

      I cannot hear the fire alarm

      I need no assistance

Any additional info:



Procedures for Life Safety and Disability

  1. Please complete the ODS Life Safety Information Card (LSIC) if you anticipate any disability-related needs in a life safety crisis.
  2. If you are nondisabled but have a need (i.e. unable to hear fire alarm as a heavy sleeper), please complete the LSIC.  Please refer to the Life Safety and Disability Information Sheet (12/07).
  3. If your situation changes as a result of a temporary disability, please complete the LSIC at any time during the academic year.
  4. Copies of the LSIC will be kept on confidential file in ODS, the Security Office, and your Resident Director's Office to be used in the event of a life safety emergency.
  5.  Please return the form to your RA or to Disability Services in 105 Hewitt. For further info, contact ODS @ 4/4634 or