Stove fires, singed exhaust fans, microwave mishaps: Drexel’s Fire and Emergency Services unit has seen it all. Their job is to ensure that Drexel has a comprehensive and proactive fire safety program that both identifies and evaluates potential fire risks, and also works to reduce or eliminate those risks. But it’s not just on them – it’s on all Dragons to keep our campus community safe from fire hazards.
In honor of Fire Prevention Week, this issue of Public Safety & U is all about how Drexel works to mitigate fire risks, and what you can do to prevent and respond to fire emergencies. Plus: Cocoa with Cops, Campout for Hunger, and best practices for securing your bike!
Employee Spotlight: Q&A With Madonna Calderoni
Madonna Calderoni has been with Drexel University for 11 years and serves as the assistant director of Fire and Emergency Services.
What are your primary responsibilities?
I walk through all campus buildings to check for any fire or life safety issues that need to be addressed. Additionally, I am responsible for scheduling emergency evacuation drills, taking part in fire safety training, and keeping emergency information for all buildings up to date. I am also an instructor for a new self-protection class that will be offered later this fall to all Dragons.
Assistant Director of Fire and Emergency Services Madonna Calderoni.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Making a difference on campus by interacting with individuals and sharing ways to keep themselves and others safe from fire. I always let people know they can reach out to me with any questions or assistance that they need.
What else do you want people to know about you?
I’m married with three grown children, and I’m currently a dog mom to a 10-year-old chihuahua/terrier mix and a one-year-old German Shephard, who keep me busy. In our spare time, we like to explore the different state and national parks — this summer we drove to Kentucky and Arkansas. My bucket list is to visit all the national parks in the United States in an RV (retirement goals).
What words of wisdom do you have for your fellow Dragons?
I would like to leave you with a thought: Fire safety and prevention are everyone’s responsibility. If you see something that doesn't look safe, please reach out and let someone know. We are always here for you!
What To Do When the Fire Alarm Goes Off
Always take fire alarms seriously. Fire drills are conducted annually for all buildings and quarterly for residential buildings, per the Philadelphia Fire Code. When the fire alarm sounds, regardless of the cause, every person is required to evacuate the building immediately. Five things to know when evacuating a building:
- Close doors behind you and quickly exit the building.
- Do not use elevators to evacuate — always take the stairs!
- Proceed in an orderly manner to the designated assembly area.
- Do not re-enter until an "All Clear" is announced by a University official.
- Provide assistance to persons with disabilities or anyone who may need it. Persons who need assistance, accompanied by a partner if possible, should wait at the entrance to the nearest fire tower or exit, conditions permitting, until the main flow of people has passed. Tell someone who is leaving the building to communicate your location to Drexel Public Safety or emergency personnel.
Be sure to know the locations of emergency exits, areas of refuge, fire towers and points of assembly. Emergency Procedures Bulletins are posted in Drexel buildings, near entrances or elevators. For more information and tips, visit the Fire & Emergency Services website. Additional information about fire drills and evacuation procedures for residence halls is in the Drexel University Student Handbook.
The batteries that power most of our electronic devices can become a fire hazard if they get overheated.
Beware of Batteries
The lithium batteries that are found in just about every electronic device are generally safe, but they can get overheated and become a fire hazard. If you notice that a battery-powered device is hot to the touch, unplug it and/or turn it off, and wait for it to cool down before powering back up. Please note that hoverboards, which are powered by larger lithium batteries, are not permitted in University residence halls and their use in not permitted in any University property, per the Student Code of Conduct.
4 Fire Safety Tips in the Kitchen
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food so you can monitor the stove.
- If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Turn off all burners and ovens when you finish cooking.
- Never pour water on a grease fire.
Advisory: Bike Thefts
There has been an uptick in bicycle thefts on and around Drexel’s campuses. Follow these tips for added bicycle safety, and watch a video on how to properly lock your bike.
- Lock your bike with a quality U-lock and cable.
- Replace quick releases with locking skewers.
- Register your bike and property with Drexel Police at 3219 Arch St.
- Report suspicious activity near bike racks.
- Have a photo of your bike/property including serial number.
Best Practices for Residential Trash & Recycling
Being a good neighbor and keeping our streets clear of trash and debris are critical to cultivating safe and healthy communities. Community clean-ups are a great way to get involved locally, but for the day-to-day, here are some key points to keep in mind if you live in Philadelphia:
- Get to know your neighborhood’s schedule for trash and recycling pickup (around Drexel’s University City campus, pickup is Monday). Federal holidays that fall on a Monday will push trash and recycling pickup back a day.
- Trash that has blown onto your property is your responsibility to clean up.
- Fines for trash-related issues are $50! Such issues include Sidewalks Not Litter Free, Premises Not Litter Free, Trash Set Out Early, and Trash Not Securely Bundled.
- Place all trash in personal trashcans or sealed plastic bags, filled only to the 40-pound limit. Securely tie wood scraps and other loose items into bundles no more than 4-feet long and 2-feet thick. NOTE: Cardboard boxes may never be used as containers for trash/recycling, regardless of who collects it!
- Newspapers and flattened cardboard boxes along with steel and aluminum cans, glass jars and bottles, paper and plastics should be placed out as recycling.
- Free recycling bins are available at 3033 S. 63rd Street (215.685.4290).
For more comprehensive information, please visit the City of Philadelphia’s website on residential trash and recycling.
From October through March, Drexel Police will host monthly meet-and-greets outside of our headquarters at 3219 Arch St. so that students, faculty and professional staff can spend time with our officers. The first two Cocoa With Cops events will take place on Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. and Nov. 3 at 5 p.m. Come get to know Drexel Police and strike up a conversation over some hot cocoa!
Donations Needed: Campout for Hunger
The Department of Public Safety is accepting non-perishable food donations from now through Nov. 3. Items requested must be in boxes, cans or plastic bottles, must not require refrigeration, and should be recently purchased, in good condition and not expired. Items needed are: peanut butter, jelly, cooking oil, canned tuna or meat, canned fruit and vegetables, canned stew and soups, oatmeal/breakfast cereal (non-sugar), whole grain pasta, 100% juice, and rice. Donations can be dropped off at Drexel Public Safety, 3201 Arch St., Suite 350, or Drexel Police Headquarters, 3219 Arch St. If you have any questions, please contact Linda Moran at email@example.com or Officer Logan Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also check out this PDF flyer for details.
Your Safety Is Our Goal
The next installments of “Your Safety Is Our Goal,” Drexel Public Safety’s monthly, interactive, virtual trainings on situational preparedness, are taking place on Oct. 21, Nov. 16 and Dec. 16, at noon and 6 p.m. each of those days. Sign up for one of these scheduled events, or if you have a community or group you would like us to present to, or would like to propose an alternate presentation time, please contact Officer Tom Cirone at email@example.com or Officer Kim McClay at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule based on your availability.
We’re Here for You When You Need Us
Please call 215.895.2222 immediately if you experience or witness a crime. Drexel Public Safety’s Communications Center is staffed 24/7 to serve you, whether or not you choose to remain anonymous when making a report. It is vital that crimes are reported promptly to Drexel Police so that they can be investigated, and so that Public Safety can connect the victim(s) with proper resources.
215.895.2222 or 911
To learn more about Drexel Public Safety, visit drexel.edu/publicsafety