16.15 – Fire Safety, Prevention and Emergency Medical Services

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Scope: NMSU Las Cruces campus

Source: ARP Chapter 16 | Safety and Risk Management

Responsible Executive: Chief of Staff

Responsible Administrator:

Last Updated: 07/29/2009



Fire Prevention Guidelines and Practices

Revision History:

2017 Recompilation, formerly Rule 2.30
07/29/2009 Amendment ratified by Board of Regents
07/14/2009 Amendment adopted by Administrative Council


This amended Rule, and corresponding Fire Prevention Guidelines and Practices, are established in order to protect and preserve the safety of the public and NMSU property.  This Rule and the Fire Prevention Guidelines and Practices apply to university students, employees, visitors and contractors working or conducting business on the NMSU Las Cruces (NMSU) and NMSU Doña Ana Community College (DACC) located on the NMSU Las Cruces campus.



Consistent with the university’s Emergency Preparedness Rule, the NMSU Department of Fire and Emergency Services:

  1. Serves as the primary response agency for NMSU-Las Cruces and NMSU-Doña Ana Community College for emergencies such as fire, medical, hazardous materials mitigation and confined space rescue operations.
  2. Provides mutual aid assistance to City of Las Cruces and Doña Ana County’s 15 fire districts.
  3. Provides EMS services at special events conducted on campus or at the request of an NMSU entity.
  4. DFES is also under the broader jurisdiction of the New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO). The State of New Mexico has adopted the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards. DFES is granted Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) from the New Mexico State FMO and is the authority in all matters dealing with fire safety for NMSU and NMSU-DACC. For other NMSU campuses and locations, the Authority Having Jurisdiction is the New Mexico State Fire Marshal, local county fire marshal or municipal fire department.
  5. As delegated from the New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s Office, the NMSU Department of Fire and Emergency Services is the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and performs the fire safety inspections as requested or as determined for facilities located on the NMSU-Las Cruces and NMSU-Doña Ana Community College campuses. The inspections are conducted for the purposes of identifying and recommending corrective action to eliminate or reduce the potential for loss of life or property due to fire. The inspections are conducted utilizing State adopted National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes, with the International Building Code and International Fire Code as reference.
  6. NMSU Office of Environment Health and Safety is responsible for occupational fire safety and shares fire inspection duties with the NMSU Department of Fire and Emergency Services.



  1. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), International Fire Code (IFC), International Building Code (IBC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards are the primary resources used in the development of the Fire Prevention Guidelines and Practices. Because the DFES is recognized as the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) in matters related to fire safety, interpretations and/or deviations may be allowed in some cases. Deviations will be evaluated and determined by DFES on a case-by-case basis.  Specific issues not addressed in the Fire Prevention Guidelines and Practices may be referenced in one of the above standards, and will apply as determined by the DFES.
  2. The Fire Prevention Guidelines and Practices is intended to facilitate the training of NMSU personnel and compliance by NMSU by restating some of the more fundamental requirements of the above referenced national and state standards and laws. Due to the risk of serious injury and/or death from fire or fire-related emergencies, students, employees, visitors and contractors shall comply with the Fire Prevention Guidelines and Practices. Any hazardous or emergency situation, even if only suspected, shall be reported to DFES.
  3. Fire Emergency Action and Evacuation. The NMSU Office of Environmental Health and Safety and the NMSU Fire Department shall coordinate regarding the requirements of the Fire Prevention Guidelines and Practices relating to general and specific fire evacuation plans for the protection of university students, employees, visitors and contractors from the hazards associated with a fire-related emergency which may occur on university property.  Examples of fire-related emergencies that would require initiation of building evacuation include and are not limited to:
    1. The smell of smoke (regardless of how small an amount),
    2. The sight of smoke (regardless of how small an amount),
    3. The smell of gas or other hazardous chemical,
    4. Electrical equipment that is sparking,
    5. Any fire, regardless of how small, even if it has already been extinguished.



  1. NMSU Administration: To provide NMSU, through support and funding, with a fire safety program which will provide staff, faculty, employees, students, and visitors the guidelines, programs, and policies which will ensure their safety.
  2. Deans, Directors, and Department Chairs: Responsible for implementing fire safety programs in areas under their control, and providing assistance to DFES in conducting fire safety inspections, correcting hazards and concerns, and implementing fire prevention and evacuation policies.
  3. Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S): Responsible for the development, coordination, implementation, and training of safety programs. The EH&S is responsible for providing assistance to all NMSU staff, faculty and employees in correction of safety hazards and concerns.
  4. Managers and Supervisors: Responsible for ensuring that their areas of responsibility are compliant with approved fire safety practices, receive the required training and coordinate code violation corrections with DFES.
  5. Maintenance Personnel: Responsible for ensuring the proper maintenance, operation, and documentation of all emergency and safety devices under their control.
  6. Students, Employees, Visitors and Contractors: Shall become aware of and comply with fire safety programs, attend required training, and report any suspected fire safety hazard to DFES.
  7. Students: Although not specifically required to be trained in the same manner as faculty and staff, students are urged to become familiar with the safety policies of NMSU and should report any potential fire safety hazard to DFES.
  8. Contractors: Are responsible for compliance with local, state and federal safety standards. Contractors have the responsibility to ensure that their work does not create fire or other safety hazards.



Emergency Procurements:  For purposes of the New Mexico Procurement Code, an emergency condition is a situation which creates a threat to the public’s health, welfare, safety, or to property such as may arise by reason of floods, epidemics, riots, equipment failures or similar events. The existence of the emergency condition creates an immediate and serious need for services or construction that cannot be met through normal procurement methods.  The Procurement Services Office may either initiate or authorize others to make emergency procurements, provided that such emergency procurements shall be made with such competition as is practicable under the circumstances. A written determination of the basis for the emergency procurement and for the selection of the particular contractor shall be included in the procurement file. Emergency procurements shall not include the purchase or lease-purchase of heavy road equipment.  In the event of an emergency, as defined above, the Procurement Services Office may purchase without bids. During regular working hours, the Procurement Services Office should be informed at once of emergency purchases greater than $2,500.  When circumstances beyond the department’s control prevent following established procedures or when delay would be detrimental or prove costly to the university, an emergency purchase may be made with the approval of the director of the Procurement Services Office.