Health and Safety Inspections

Residence hall inspections are conducted routinely on university-owned property, in accordance with GW Housing License Agreement(s), in order to ensure compliance with university policy and local statutes. The purpose of the inspections is to enhance the safety of all persons residing in university-owned properties.

Residence hall inspections are conducted three times a year, once in the fall, once in the spring and once in the summer in occupied buildings. Inspections will be announced during the first round of the fall semester and during the abbreviated summer round. All other inspections are unannounced.

Inspection Process

  1. Inspectors will knock and announce themselves twice
  2. If there is no answer from any of the occupants, the Inspectors will key into the individual room and again announce their presence
  3. Inspectors will examine the premises, looking for prohibited items such as candles and extension cords that are in plain view
  4. As needed they may also trace extension cords which may involve looking under or moving beds and furniture
  5. Inspectors may also conduct a visual examination of any life safety equipment (i.e. fire sprinklers, smoke detectors) to ensure it is in working order and ensure there is no evidence of tampering

Most inspections are completed in a matter of minutes. If no occupants are at home, the inspector will leave a room safety inspection notice with the result of the inspection and any violations noted. The notice will also contain information on any items confiscated.

Prohibited Items

Per the GW Housing License Agreement(s), any prohibited items discovered will be immediately confiscated and donated/discarded if found. Please refer to the Prohibited Items page for a complete list and description of these items.

Life Safety Equipment - Tampering

Fire and life safety equipment includes:

  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire alarms
  • Sprinklers
  • Evacuation placards
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Automatic External Defibrillators (AED’s)

Tampering with fire and life safety equipment is a violation of D.C. Fire Code and university policy. Inspectors who discover evidence of tampering will notify GWPD and remain on the scene until an Officer arrives. All occupants of the room will be referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Tampering includes altering, damaging or misusing fire & life safety equipment. The most frequent tampering situation encountered by Inspectors is covering or disabling the smoke detector. This may be done to conceal evidence of smoking or (less frequently) because of a unit malfunction. If residents believe that their smoke detector is malfunctioning they should submit a FIXIT ticket and notify Health & Safety to avoid any adverse consequences.