To ensure compliance with the University’s fire safety policy, Housing inspectors conduct periodic inspections of dormitory and annex rooms, which are necessary to guarantee safe living conditions.

The procedures followed by inspectors and listed below are intended to cause minimal inconvenience to students, while allowing the inspectors to do their jobs effectively.

Inspectors are courteous and reasonable, and students are expected to treat inspectors in a similar manner. The inspectors will discuss with you the reason why a situation is unsafe and in conflict with the fire safety policy but are not the proper authorities with whom to dispute a fine.

If you have additional questions about the University's fire safety policy or a fine, contact the Dormitory Property Supervisor at inspectr@princeton.edu.

Inspections will be conducted after 10:00 AM.

  • Inspectors will announce their presence by knocking loudly on the door and saying, “Fire safety inspection. May I come in?”
  • If there is no response, the inspector will unlock the door.
  • The inspector will open the door slightly and knock once more to announce his/her presence again. If there is no response, the inspector will enter the room.
  • If a bedroom door is closed, the inspector will knock and ask to come in. The inspector may enter if there is no response.
  • If the resident answers and asks the inspector to wait, the inspector will wait for the resident to open the door. The inspector may suggest that the resident stay covered in bed, and will enter if the resident clearly agrees.
  • If the resident refuses to allow the inspector to come in, the inspector will say “I must report your refusal to the Dean’s Office.”
  • If the resident is not home, the inspector will take care to leave the room as he/she found it. However, if the door is unsecured, it will be secured by the inspector on exit and noted in the appropriate box on the inspection report.
  • While in student rooms, the inspector will be courteous to residents and respectful of their belongings.

If there are any infractions, inspectors may explain the policy violation to the resident and suggest possible remedies. Explanation will be given if requested.

If the student believes the situation is not in violation of policy, the inspector will listen and consider the student’s explanation. The student will then be invited to e-mail the address on the notice if they have additional questions. Inspectors are not obligated or encouraged to engage the student in debate over the violation.

The inspector will leave the student a notice of confiscation or notice of inspection.

Students are given the opportunity to appeal if they experience difficulties with the fire inspection process.

To submit a procedures-related appeal or to dispute a fine over an interpretation of policy, send an email to inspectr@princeton.edu. You have five business days from the date that you received a fine notification to email your appeal.

Factual fines—those issued for infractions such as possession of an unauthorized appliance, storing fireworks or combustible liquids, candles, or covering/blocking smoke detectors and/or sprinkler system—cannot be appealed.

The Manager of Dormitories will respond to each appeal by email, but if you are not satisfied with the manager's decision, you may resubmit your appeal within two weeks to the Manager of Dormitories for review by the Appeals Committee.

The Appeals Committee includes the Deputy Director of Housing and Real Estate Services, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students responsible for housing, and one of the graduate housing representatives elected from the Graduate Student Union (for graduate students only). Each committee member has one vote, and a simple majority is required for a final decision.

The committee may request individual interviews with the student and Housing inspector(s) involved to reach its decision. If you fail to appear before the committee you forfeit your right to appeal.

Within a month of receiving the appeal, the committee will uphold, reduce, or waive the fine, and will send you a letter with its decision, which is final and binding. The Executive Director of Housing and Real Estate Services reserves the right to review and give final approval of the decision.