The use of electrical equipment and appliances in the residence halls can pose serious safety hazards. Failing to follow these detailed guidelines can easily overload electrical outlets or damage the distribution system, and result in a serious electrical fire.

  1. Electrical appliances should be Underwriters' Laboratory (UL)-approved and in good operating condition.
  2. The use of personal appliances should be limited to an electric razor, small portable television, personal computer with a rating of less than 200 watts, clock, portable hair dryer, gaming system, and a small fan. Electric hair curlers and hot combs should be used with caution (only one plugged in at a time).
  3. Residence hall rooms are not designed or permitted to be used as kitchens as electric appliances used to prepare food present extreme fire safety hazards. Coffee makers and electric tea pots which are equipped with automatic shutoffs, and mini-fridges are the only food appliances allowed in residential rooms.
  4. Refrigerators and microfridges must be adequately ventilated and may not be placed in closets. Refrigerators may not use sulfur dioxide, ammonia, or propane refrigerants and must be 5.0 cu. ft. or less in size. Combined microfridge units must be leased or purchased.
  5. Only irons equipped with automatic shutoffs may be used in student rooms.
  6. Clothes steamers should be used only in laundry rooms or apartment kitchens.
  7. According to the 2010 Fire Code of New York State, extension cords and plug adapters are prohibited in residence hall rooms and apartments.
    1. 605.4 Multiplug adapters. Multiplug adapters, such as cube adapters, unfused plug strips or any other device not complying with Chapter 27 of the Building Code of New York State shall be prohibited.
    2. 605.4.1 Power tap design. Relocatable power taps shall be of the polarized or grounded type, equipped with overcurrent protection, and shall be listed in accordance with UL 1363.
  8. According to the 2010 Fire Code of New York State, plugging a power strip of any type into another ("piggy-backing") is prohibited.
    1. 605.4.2 Power supply. Relocatable power taps shall be directly connected to a permanently installed receptacle.
  9. Dimmer switches and similar devices are prohibited.
  10. Electric blankets, space heaters, and sun or heat lamps are prohibited.
  11. The electrical amplification of a musical instrument (as well as the use of drums) is prohibited in all residence halls. These may only be stored, but not played. For information regarding the use of music practice rooms, contact the School of Music.

Prohibited Appliances

The following electrical appliances and equipment are prohibited in all residential rooms and apartments:

  • electric fry pans, hot plates, hot pots.
  • full-sized refrigerators (other than the college-installed one).
  • air conditioners, other than the college-installed units.
  • extension cords, multi-plug adapters, non-surge protected power strips, dimmer switches.
  • halogen lamps, lava lamps, sun lamps, heat lamps, octopus lamps.
  • electric blankets, space heaters, heating coils.
  • water coolers.

The following electrical appliances can only be used in apartment kitchens:

  • broilers, griddles.
  • popcorn poppers, toaster ovens and toasters.
  • microwave ovens.

If an electrical appliance or device is not specifically listed as approved under this heading, contact the Office of Residential Life for approval.