Rules & Regulation, Fire Precautions & Fire Drill Instructions
updated January 2016
A. Rules & Regulations
The following list of rules is not meant to infringe upon anyone’s enjoyment of the French House. On the contrary, they are meant to guarantee that each resident benefit from living in this unique group environment.
Anyone who deliberately disregards the Rules and Regulations of the French House will be deemed to be hindering the successful functioning of the French House. There may be a fine imposed and, in the event that the infraction seriously endangers the safety of other residents or considerably diminishes their enjoyment of the French House, the responsible party/parties may be asked to leave either immediately or at the close of the semester in which the problem occurs.
- When you sign your housing contract for the French House, you are agreeing to these rules and their consequences.
Selection of Residents: The French House, through the French House Committee in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, makes its own selection of tenants on the basis of individual merit and academic goals without regard to gender, race, color, creed, national origin or sexual orientation.
- Use of French: Each resident has chosen to live at the French House precisely because French is spoken inside the house. The French House has been established for the purpose of increasing proficiency in the use of French in “everyday” situations, training in conversation necessary for teacher certification and in an increase in genuine fluency in spoken French. French must be spoken at all times, Sunday through Friday, in all common areas of the House. English or other languages may be spoken on Saturdays and in private conversations in the residents’ rooms, preferably with the door closed.Residents should know that substantial awards (from $200-$1000) are offered at the close of each academic year. Funds established through donations to the French House, the Department of French and Italian, and the University Foundation sponsor these awards. The number of award recipients varies each year. While selection of a few awards is based on academic standing in the French major, the majority of awards go to residents who embody the spirit of the French House and who contribute to ensuring the daily use of French.
- Participation in Events and Activities: It is expected that residents take most of their meals in the dining room with the other residents and participate actively in French House events organized for the benefit of the residents. Typical events include weekly films, informal talks, conferences, parties, and receptions.
- Quiet Hours: Residents must show consideration for their neighbors at all times, regardless of the established quiet hours. At all times, residents and guests must not make sustained, loud noises, shout or speak in a louder than normal voice, play stereos or musical instruments, or cause any other noises at such a level that they are disturbing other residents of the House.QUIET HOURS are from 2:00 P.M. TO 5:00 P.M. and from 8:00 P.M. TO 11:00 A.M. During the established quiet hours, residents and guests must not deliberately make noise of any kind that can be heard by and/or can disturb their neighbors or other residents.
- Adherence to local laws: Tenants and their guests shall comply with any and all laws, ordinances, rules and orders of any and all governmental or quasi-governmental authorities affecting the cleanliness, use, occupancy and preservation of the Premises. Tenant shall not keep or use on the Premises any item of a dangerous, flammable or explosive character that might unreasonably increase the danger of fire or explosion on the Premises or that might be considered hazardous or extra hazardous by any responsible insurance company. As a reminder:
~Firearms are not allowed on the premises and may not be kept in resident rooms. Possession of fireworks, firecrackers or any other material that might create a hazard is prohibited.
~Possession, use or sale of narcotics is prohibited in the French House and on the French House grounds. Any resident who possesses, uses or sells narcotics on the premises will be reported to local law enforcement officials and risks immediate eviction or may be asked to leave at the close of the semester.
~Alcohol may be consumed by residents of legal drinking age. Tenants under the age of 21 may not possess or consume alcoholic beverages on the premises.
- Smoking: Smoking is not permitted in the French House.
- Candles: Burning candles is strictly prohibited. Unattended candles are fire hazards and candle wax is extremely difficult to remove from carpets and furniture. If a resident is found to be burning or has burned a candle in his or her room, he or she will receive a verbal warning. If this resident chooses to ignore the warning, a monetary fine of $50.00 will be imposed. If the fine is left unpaid, it will be removed from his or her security deposit.
- Parties: Parties or gatherings of more than 8 people (residents and guests), for the purpose other than study, are not allowed without the prior approval of the Resident Assistant or Director.
- False Alarms: Placing false fire alarms, interfering with the proper functioning of a fire alarm system, interfering with lawful efforts of firefighters, or tampering with or removing fire hoses, fire doors, extinguishers, smoke detectors, and fire fighting equipment are prohibited. Residents must read and fully understand the accompanying “Fire Precautions and Fire Drill Instructions.”
- Locks and Keys: Tampering with locks — either in resident rooms, in the kitchen, or in other areas — is considered a serious offense. Residents are reminded that they should lock their own rooms at all times to reduce the risk of theft. Outside doors must remain locked at all times.
In the event of a loss of keys, replacement is $10/key. Please do not indicate name or the French House address on a key chain.
- Windows: Residents may not remove screens or storm windows.
- Air Conditioning: Air conditioning vents should be unobstructed at all times. Do not allow small objects to fall into these vents.
- Electrical Appliances: Hot plates, coffee machines, corn-poppers, other appliances for cooking, and electric irons may not be used in resident rooms. (An iron and ironing board is available in the utility room at the end of each hall. A microwave is available at all times in the dining room.) Residents shall assume full responsibility for damage caused by the malfunction of any electric appliance in their possession or in their room, with the exception of lamps provided to residents from the French House.
- Guests: Permission for overnight and weekend guests is not required. However, residents must notify the Director, Resident Assistant and/or the Cook if they plan to have guests. Permission must be obtained from the resident’s roommate (if applicable). Residents are held responsible for the actions of their guests. The Rules and regulations of the French House apply equally to guests as they do to residents. Guests who do not speak French are welcome; however, they must not disturb the francophone atmosphere of the House. Guests may not be given any keys (or a copy of a key) to the French House. Guests should be met at the front door by their host.GUESTS DO NOT DINE FREE OF CHARGE. The cost of meals is posted outside the dining room. Payment arrangements must be made IN ADVANCE with the French Assistants, Resident Assistant, or kitchen personnel. Non-payment of guest meals in advance will be billed to their host.
- Furnishings: Many of the pieces of furniture and art in the House are antiques or valuable gifts. They should be treated respectfully since they cannot be replaced. Residents are held responsible for damage to French House furnishings in their rooms and in all common areas of the house. Furnishings in resident rooms may not be removed with out the permission of the Director.
- Resident Rooms: Residents are responsible for leaving their room in the same condition in which they found it at the beginning of their residential period. Care should be taken in the decoration and organization of rooms so that furnishings, carpets, walls, woodwork, and closets are not damaged. Residents may not remove blinds or drapes. Residents will be billed for damage to their room and its furnishings that is beyond normal wear and tear. A vacuum and cleaning supplies are available at all times.
- Bathrooms: Bathrooms are cleaned on a regular basis; however, residents are expected to clean up after themselves at all times. Care should be taken to flush toilets, throw away trash, and to rinse sinks, showers and tubs. Toiletries should be kept tidy. Do not flush feminine hygiene products; there are trash bins available for their disposal in each bathroom stall. The bathroom may not be used for washing clothes. Laundry facilities are available on the premises.
- Pets: Pets of any kind are not allowed, this includes birds, rodents, reptiles and insects. A small fish bowl is allowed (anything larger must have prior approval from the Director). However, visits by guests accompanied by pets are permitted only in the event that the pet does not disturb other residents.
- Bicycles: Bicycles should be kept outside whenever possible. Bicyclists who prefer to keep their bicycles inside must follow these guidelines:
~Bicyclists must remove all dirt and debris before bringing their bicycle into the house.
~Bicycles must be carried, not rolled, across all carpets.
~Bicycles must be kept in the utility room at the end of the first floor hall. Bicycles kept anywhere else in the house will be removed.
- Kitchen: For health and safety reasons, access to the main kitchen is strictly limited to the kitchen staff, Director and Resident Assistant. Taking food from the kitchen is considered theft and will be prosecuted.
- Television: A television and accompanying components are provided as a courtesy to residents. Television viewing must never disturb other residents or guests. Television viewing in the main floor lounge is not permitted during special events and conferences. The television must be off when guests and other non-residents are present unless the television program is in French.
B. Fire Precautions & Fire Drill Instructions
The following information should be read periodically by every resident.
Although this building is essentially fireproof, there is a tendency to become careless of fire precautions. There are combustible materials such as linen, mattresses, clothing, etc., and the danger of a fire in these materials is extreme. The principal hazard from such fires is fumes that can quickly cause asphyxiation. Thus, precautions must be taken to prevent fire.
- IN CASE OF FIRE: Activate the Fire Alarm by pulling the lever on the alarm box nearest your stairwell, dining room or front entrance.
a. Dial 911
b. Evacuate the House Immediately. Before leaving your room:
Close the windows. Turn on the lights.
Close the door behind you.
c. Aid other people in the evacuation.
d. What to wear: Warm coat, shoes (not slippers which may cause you to trip), a towel or other head and face covering.
- EVACUATING THE BUILDING
a. Use the closest stairwell exit. In case of heavy smoke in the stairwell, use the other exit. If smoke or fumes are coming up the stairways or if the exit door is hot, leave it closed and use an alternate exit.
b. Walk! Do Not Run!
- WHAT TO DO IF SMOKE IS COMING FROM A CLOSED ROOM
a. If the door is hot, and no one is in the room, leave it for the Fire Department to open.
b. If you suspect that the room from which smoke is coming is occupied and you cannot arouse the resident, get help immediately. The Director, Resident Director, Assistants and Cook have keys to open all rooms.
- WHAT TO DO IF A PERSON IS OVERCOME WITH SMOKE
a. Get him/her into fresh air as quickly as possible.
b. Ask the Fire Department for help from the rescue squad.
c. Apply artificial respiration, preferably mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, until help arrives.
- PRECAUTIONS AGAINST FIRE
a. Do not burn candles. Burning candles is not permitted at the French House (see “Rules”)
b. Never smoke in bed. Smoking is not allowed in the French House (see “Rules”).
c. Empty your wastebasket regularly.
d. Flammable cleaning fluids and gasoline are prohibited in the building.
e. Flammable decorations are forbidden.
f. Do not overload electric circuits.
g. Do not leave electric irons or appliances unattended.
h. Electric cooking appliances are forbidden in the rooms.
i. Clean lint trap in dryer before and after use.
- TAMPERING WITH FIRE ALARMS OR FIRE EQUIPMENT: Persons placing false alarms, tampering or interfering with fire alarms or fire equipment, or interfering with efforts of firemen, will be evicted from the French House and are subject to prosecution under Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 941. Penalties include fines and imprisonment. The University of Wisconsin also will take serious disciplinary action against offenders.