Health & Safety

Fire Safety

Fire safety is taken very seriously in the BSC and all members are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the following guidelines. Houses are inspected periodically during the semester and before parties to ensure compliance. Your Maintenance Manager can help you if you need a smoke detector fixed or the batteries changed. Managers are also trained on fire safety and use of extinguishers—ask one if you have any questions.

Before a Fire

  1. Always keep hallways, walkways, fire escapes, and building entrances and exits clear! Do not leave and/or promptly remove furniture, trash, and personal belongings from these areas. If a hallway is dark and full of smoke you don’t want to be tripping over debris in the hallway. Seconds count in an emergency.
  2. Members are not allowed to store bicycles or motorbikes indoors except for designated bike storage areas.
  3. Familiarize yourself with all fire exits near your bedroom and in your building.
  4. Do not prop open fire doors (even your bedroom door).
  5. The BSC recommends that you refrain from burning candles or incense in your room. If a fire results from you burning candles or incense, you can be held financially responsible for the damage from the fire. Candles, incense, and smoking can also trigger the fire alarms as common space smoke detectors are linked to the alarm system.
  6. Note: Smoking, candles, incense, and open flames are strictly prohibited at Cloyne Court.
  7. The BSC discourages the use of any appliance other than a personal iron, UL approved coffee makers, a small microwave, and/or mini refrigerator in bedrooms. The use of any appliance that has an open coil or creates heat or flame is strongly discouraged outside designated kitchen areas.
  8. Members should also avoid halogen lamps and decorative light strings due to their high fire danger.
  9. Do not overload electrical outlets and make sure that furniture and other items are not placed on top of or are causing damage to extension cords.
  10. The possession of volatile solutions, flammable substances, explosives, or fireworks is strictly prohibited.
  11. Regularly check the smoke detector in your bedroom to make sure it works properly.
  12. If the fire alarm system is activated, evacuate the building as quickly as possible.Do not ignore the fire alarm and do not re-enter the building until the Fire Department has turned off the alarm and indicated that it is safe to re-enter.
  13. Do not hang or attach anything on the sprinkler pipes or sprinkler heads in your bedroom or in common areas. The sprinkler pipes do have water in them andif a sprinkler head breaks or is set off in any way you will flood the building. This has happened before.
  14. Keep yards clear of dead plants and dry grasses.

During a Fire:

  1. When you discover a fire, pull the alarm and call 911 from a land line telephone or (510) 981-5911 from a cell phone.
  2. Use an extinguisher with caution and always stay between the fire and the exit.
  3. Grease fires should be extinguished with baking soda, a pot lid, or chemical extinguisher—never water as this can cause serious injury.
  4. If the fire becomes too large, close your door and leave the building at once.Be sure to wear shoes to avoid cutting your feet during the evacuation. Take your keys with you!
  5. Evacuate the building immediately. Walk, do not run.
  6. Do not use the elevator. Use the stairs.
  7. When smoke or heat is encountered, keep low or crawl to avoid inhaling toxic fumes. Breathe through a cloth, if possible, and take shallow breaths.
  8. When the fire alarm sounds, feel your room door to see if it is hot before opening it.
  9. Do not open the door if the knob is hot—try to exit through a window or fire escape.
  10. Do not re-enter the building until the alarm has been reset and you have received authorization from the Fire Department.
  11. Tampering with fire safety equipment or refusing to evacuate during an alarm are serious violations of state law and will result in disciplinary action and possible criminal prosecution.

When the Alarm Sounds:

  1. Exit the building, even if the alarm has been accidentally triggered. This is a Fire Department requirement.
  2. Firefighters will arrive shortly and inspect the building to make sure there is actually no fire (or if there is one, they will put it out).
  3. Once inspection is complete, firefighters will turn off the alarm and let residents know it is OK to re-enter the building.
  4. Please do not pull alarms when there is no fire. More firefighters are killed or injured in traffic accidents responding to alarms than actually fighting fires. If your house has an alarm that is located where it gets accidentally activated by people bumping into it, please contact Central Maintenance to get a Fire Department approved cover installed.

More fire safety information at the City of Berkeley Fire Department

Earthquake Safety


Falling objects are the cause of most injuries and deaths from earthquake. Place beds, desks, couches and chairs far from windows and mirrors—avoid coexisting with shattering glass. Secure loose objects (particularly bookshelves). There should be no heavy things above your head as you sleep. Keep a clear space under a bed or desk clear, as a shelter. Know where to find the earthquake kit, first-aid equipment, and emergency water. Let your House Manager know of any services you can provide (access to a car, CPR/First Aid Certification).

Each house is required to send a few members every semester to a free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training on first aid or search and rescue run by the City of Berkeley. Ask your house manager if interested.


Duck, cover, and hold.If you’re indoors, find shelter under a solid piece of furniture. Hold on to it; be prepared to move with it. The closer you can get to a wall, the better your odds if the building collapses. Stay away from bookcases, cabinets, glass doors, windows, power lines, brick walls, trees, and chimneys. If you’re outdoors, find the largest open space you can. If you are in a wheelchair, stay in your chair and lock your wheels. Protect your head and neck with your arms.


Earthquakes can last seconds or minutes. They may be followed at any time by aftershocks, which can be equally violent. Check for injuries of yourself and other house members. If someone else is hurt, and there is any chance that they have a spinal injury, don’t move them unless they’re somewhere unsafe. Call 911.

Check the house for damage and fires and evacuate if necassary. Turn off gas and electricity; if you do not know how, ask a house manager. Turn off water if there is a burst pipe causing flooding in the house. Don’t touch a live wire. Use telephone lines for emergency calls only—text messages are more reliable. Damage reports and emergency information will be on the radio at KNBR 680AM, KCBS 740AM, KGO 810AM, or WNZV 1610AM. The BSC maintains an emergency food supply in several locations around Berkeley, ask your managers where the nearest one is.

Sickness Prevention—What You Can Do to Prevent Communicable Diseases

Wash Your Hands

You should wash your hands often; probably more than you do now. You can't see germs and there's no way of telling if you're carrying them around. It's especially important to wash your hands in the following circumstances:

  • Before, during, and after you prepare food
  • Before you eat
  • After you use the toilet
  • After handling animals or animal waste
  • When your hands are dirty
  • More often when someone in your home is sick.

Clean and Disinfect Surfaces

Another way to help you keep the germs away is to routinely clean and disinfect surfaces. Cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing. In most cases, cleaning with soap and water is adequate to remove dirt and germs, but sometimes you need to disinfect to provide an extra margin of safety.

Under the right conditions, some germs can live on surfaces for hours or even days. Even if surfaces look clean, many infectious germs might be lurking around. Disinfectants, such as regular household bleach, have ingredients that destroy bacteria and other germs. It's a good idea to disinfect areas such as kitchens and bathrooms where there are high concentrations of germs and a possibility they will be spread to others.

Before you start, read the labels and safety precautions on your cleaning products. Follow them.

Wear rubber gloves if you're cleaning up body fluids such as blood, vomit or feces, especially if you have cuts or scratches on your hands or if a family member has AIDS, hepatitis B, or another blood disease.

Clean the surface thoroughly with soap and water or another cleaner.

If you need to use a disinfectant, apply it to the area and let it stand for a few minutes so it has time to kill the most germs.

Wipe the surface with paper towels that can be thrown away or cloth towels that can be washed afterwards.

Store cleaners and disinfectants out of the reach of children.

Even if you use gloves, wash your hands after cleaning or disinfecting surfaces.

Prepare Food Carefully

Careless food handling and improper cooking often set the stage for the growth of disease-causing organisms. Cross-contamination can occur when cutting boards and kitchen tools that have been used to prepare one contaminated food (such as raw chicken) are not cleaned before being used for another food (such as vegetables). Hot or cold foods left standing too long at room temperature provide an ideal climate in which bacteria can grow. The first rule of safe food preparation in the home is to keep everything clean—this applies to the areas where food is prepared and to the cook.

NORO Virus

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the “stomach flu,” or gastroenteritis. The symptoms of norovirus illness usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults. Most people with norovirus illness have both of these symptoms. People tend to get better within 1 or 2 days and they have no long-term health effects related to their illness. Dehydration is the most dangerous effect of noro virus and can require immediate medical attention. Symptoms appear 12-48 hours after infection.

This virus is very contagious and can spread rapidly throughout such environments. People can become infected with the virus in several ways, including:

  • Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus
  • Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus, and then placing their hand in their mouth
  • Having direct contact with another person who is infected and showing symptoms

People infected with norovirus are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill to at least 3 days after recovery. There is no treatment for the virus, but there are ways to relieve certain symptoms, namely dehydration.

You can decrease your chance of coming in contact with noroviruses by following these preventive steps:

  • Frequently wash your hands, especially after toilet visits and changing diapers and before eating or preparing food.
  • Carefully wash fruits and vegetables, and steam oysters before eating them.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of illness by using a bleach-based household cleaner.
  • Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with virus after an episode of illness (use hot water and soap).
  • Flush or discard any vomit and/or stool in the toilet and make sure that the surrounding area is kept clean.

Persons who are infected with norovirus should not prepare food while they have symptoms and for 3 days after they recover from their illness. Food that may have been contaminated by an ill person should be disposed of.


Scabies is an infestation of the skin with a microscopic mite. Scabies spreads rapidly under crowded conditions where there is frequent skin-to-skin contact between people, such as in hospitals, institutions, child-care facilities, nursing homes, and CO-OPS.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Pimple-like irritations, burrows or rash of the skin, especially the webbing between the fingers; the skin folds on the wrist, elbow, or knee; the penis, the breast, or shoulder blades.
  • Intense itching, especially at night and over most of the body.
  • Sores on the body caused by scratching. These sores can sometimes become infected with bacteria.

Scabies can be contracted by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person already infested with scabies. Contact must be prolonged (a quick handshake or hug will usually not spread infestation). Infestation is easily spread to sexual partners and household members. Infestation may also occur by sharing clothing, towels, and bedding. Symptoms may take 4-6 weeks to begin.

Diagnosis is most commonly made by looking at the burrows or rash. A skin scraping may be taken to look for mites, eggs, or mite fecal matter to confirm the diagnosis. If a skin scraping or biopsy is taken and returns negative, it is possible that you may still be infested. Typically, there are fewer than 10 mites on the entire body of an infested person; this makes it easy for an infestation to be missed.


Anyone who is diagnosed with scabies, their sexual partners, and anyone with close, prolonged contact to an infested person should be treated with topical lotions that can be bought at a pharmacy or recommended by a physician. If diagnosed, the persons clothes, bedding, and towels should be washed in hot water, and dried in a hot dryer. Itching can continue for 2-3 weeks after treatment.


The BSC, consistent with its policies and governing law, promotes institutional diversity and pluralism by promoting equitable access to opportunity through policies such as open membership to room and board and affirmative action in hiring.

Unlawful acts of discrimination or harassment are prohibited.

In addition, the BSC community holds itself to certain standards of conduct more stringent than those mandated by law.Thus, even if not illegal, acts are prohibited under this policy if they discriminate against any BSC community member(s) through inappropriate limitation of employment opportunity, access to BSC residential facilities or participation in social, educational, house, organizational or other BSC activities on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or weight.

Mental Health

UC Berkeley Mental Health Resources for Students

Counseling & Psychological Services

University Health Services, Tang Center
2222 Bancroft Way, 3rd Floor
(510) 642-9494

Social Services

University Health Services, Tang Center
2222 Bancroft Way 2nd. Floor
(510) 642-6074

After-Hours Assistance

University Health Services
Emergency from cell: (510) 642-3333
Emergency from landline: 911

Student to Student Peer Counseling

Drop In Counseling: 312E Eshleman Hall

For All Campus Emergencies: UC Police Department
Emergency from cell: (510) 642-3333
Emergency from landline: 911

Crisis Resources Available to the General Public

Alameda County Behavioral Health Care

Access Program
(800) 491-9099

Bay Area Woman Against Rape

Provides free in-person counseling to survivors of sexual assault and their significant others.
(510) 845-7273 (24-hour crisis line)

Berkeley Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team
(510) 981-5254 Telephone

Crisis/Suicide Prevention Hot Lines

National, 24-Hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline (TTY capacity): (800) 273-TALK
If calling from Alameda County from a non-local cell phone: (800) 309-2131
S.F. AIDS Night Line (5pm–5am): (415) 434-AIDS
S.F. Spanish (6pm–12am): (415) 989-5212

Low Cost Mental Health Agencies

Alameda County Psychological Association Referral Line
(510) 433-9580

Feminist Therapy Referral Project
(510) 843-2949

Asian Community Mental Health

310 8th. St., Ste. 201 Oakland 94607
(510) 451-6729

Health & Human Services—Division of Berkeley Mental Health

2640 Martin Luther King Berkeley 94704
(510) 981-5290

Oakland Community Support Center

10700 MacArthur Blvd., Building 15 Oakland 94605
(510) 481-3700

West Oakland Mental Health

700 Adeline St. Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 465-1800

Sausal Creek Outpatient Stabilization Clinic

2620 26th Ave. Oakland, CA 94601
(510) 437-2363
*Services to any adults (18 and older) who cannot wait for routine mental health outpatient care

Private/Non-profit Agencies

Berkeley Therapy Institute

1749 Martin Luther King, Jr. Berkeley 94709
(510) 841-8484

Seeds of Awareness (formerly JFK Holistic Counseling Center)

2501 Harrison St. Oakland 94612
(510) 444-3344

The Wright Institute

2728 Durant Ave., Berkeley 94704
(510) 548-9716

Psychological Services Center

1440 Broadway, Unit 610
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 628-9065

Psychology Clinic, Dept of Psychology

2121 Berkeley Way, Room 2160
Berkeley, CA
(510) 642-2055

The Psychotherapy Institute

2232 Carleton Street, Berkeley
(510) 548-2250

Jewish Family and Children Services

2484 Shattuck, Ste. 210 Berkeley 94704
(510) 704-7475


Below is a list of resources, however for a more detailed list of community resources and the services they provide please see this PDF.

UC Berkeley Student Resources

Tang Center, UHS

Comprehensive medical care, counseling, health promotion, and public health services.
Phone number: (510) 642-2000.
Advice nurse & after hours assistance for referral information: (510) 643-7197.

Gender Equity Resource Center

Women’s & LGBT services and programs. Sexual harassment & sexual assault advocacy, response, & education. Bias incidents/hate acts education.
Phone number: (510) 642-4786
On-campus location: 202 Cesar Chavez Student Center MC 2440
Local Hospitals

Resources for Everyone

Alta Bates Summit

Comprehensive hospital services.
Phone number: (510) 204-4444.
2450 Ashby Av., Berkeley, 94705.

Alta Bates Summit (Herrick Campus)

Psychiatric in/out-patient service, community-based program, offering crisis intervention, evaluation, and treatment 24 hrs.
Phone number: (510) 204-4444.
2001 Dwight Way., Berkeley, 94704.
Sexual Assault, Dating/Domestic Violence

Bay Area Women Against Rape

Provides free in-person counseling to survivors of sexual assault & their partners. Offers accompaniment to police, court & hospital, a 24-hr hotline, support groups, & community education.
Phone number: (510) 845-7273
470 27th Street, Oakland, CA 94612

Family Violence Law Center

Comprehensive services for dating/domestic violence victims, including legal assistance and overnight emergency response team. LGBT friendly.
Crisis line: (510) 208-0255.
P.O. Box 22009, Oakland, CA 94623

Community United Against Violence

LGBT specific dating/domestic violence services.
24 hr crisis line: (414)333-4357.
170 A Capp Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Pregnancy, Emergency Contraception

Planned Parenthood National Hotline

Will automatically connect you to the PP provider nearest you. PP is a source for contraception, testing for STDs, including HIV, pre- & post-natal care, pregnancy options counseling, & adoption referrals.
24 Hour Hotline: (800) 230-PLAN

Emergency Contraception

Information about emergency contraception. Gives names & numbers of local places where you can get emergency contraception.
Hotline: (888) 668-2528.
Mental Health and Crisis Lines

Crisis Support Services of Alameda County

We work to prevent suicide and offer hope and caring during times of hopelessness.
24 Hour Hotline: (800) 309-2131

Alameda County Mental Health & Substance Abuse Access Program

Provides referrals.
Phone number: (800) 491-9099

Berkeley 24-hour Crisis Hotline

Phone number: (800) 309-2131

Berkeley City Mental Health Services

Phone number: (510) 981-5290 (M-F, 8-5).
2640 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

National Institute of Mental Health's Anxiety Resources

Hotline: (888) 826-9438

Panic Disorder Information Hotline

Phone number: (800) 64-PANIC

Eating Disorders Center

Phone number: (888) 236-1188
Substance Addiction Resources

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, National Drug & Alcohol Treatment Referral Service

Can link the caller to a variety of hotlines that provide treatment referrals.
24 hour hotline: (800) 662-HELP.

Meth Addiction Hotline

For both users & friends/loved ones of users.
24 hour hotline: (800) 480-5965

Alcoholics Anonymous

12-step program for alcoholics. Info on AA meetings in the East Bay.
Phone number: (510) 839-8900.

Narcotics Anonymous

12-step program for drug addicts. Provides information about NA and referrals to local meetings.
Phone number: (510) 444-4637


12-step fellowship for family & friends of alcoholics.
Phone number: (888) 4-AL-ANON.


12-step fellowship for family & friends of drug addicts.
Phone number: (800) 477-6291
Other Hotlines, Misc. Information

GLBT National Help Center

Free and confidential peer-counseling & local resource information for lgbt & questioning people of all ages.
Phone number: (888) 843-4564

CDC National STD & AIDS Hotline

Provides information on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV/genital warts, herpes, and HIV/AIDS, and referrals to local clinics.
Phone numbers: (800) 227-8922 and (800) 342-2437

Easy-to-understand legal information and resources for women living with or escaping dating/domestic violence.

Go Ask Alice

Hip and topical question & answer site from Columbia University. Wide range of drug questions with non-judgmental and info-filled answers.

All Emergencies:

When calling from a landline: 911
When calling from a cell phone: (510) 981-5911

Berkeley Police Department

Non-emergency phone number: (510) 981-5900
For emergencies, see above.


Emergency phone number: (510) 642-3333
Non-emergency phone number: (510) 642-6760
Phone number for info during major campus emergencies: (510) 642-4335

Poison Control

Phone number: (800) 222-1212.

Disaster readiness, the BSC Policy can be read here.

Incident, Complaint, and Witness Forms