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Prepare before a fire:

  • ALWAYS "know two (2) ways out" from wherever you are; do not use the elevators.
  • There are many reasons why a sudden evacuation may be necessary. Have a plan that includes an alternative escape route in case the primary route is not accessible.

If you are notified of, or discover a fire:

  • Move quickly to the nearest accessible exit.
  • Notify, and assist others to evacuate along the way.
  • If the building fire alarm is not yet sounding, manually activate the alarm pull station located near the exit.
  • Exit the building and proceed to the “Area of Gathering
  • “Area of Gathering” and “Area of Relocation” information for each building is posted in the lobby, and is listed on the Fire Safety website.
  • From a safe location call 617.627.6911 (x66911 from a campus phone) to provide details for first responders.
  • On the Boston health sciences or SMFA campuses call 911 first to provide details for first responders.

Evacuation procedures for persons with mobility issues:

In the event of an actual emergency incident, persons with mobility issues or who are unable to safely self-evacuate should follow this procedure:

  • Relocate to an entry to an evacuation stairwell, marked by a red EXIT sign.
  • Call University Police at 617.627.6911 (x66911 from a campus phone) to notify a dispatcher of your location, identifying the stairwell number or a nearby room number.
  • Wait NEAR the enclosed exit stairwell if there is NO smoke or other threats to your safety. Most fire alarm activations are brief, allowing occupants to return within a few minutes.

If smoke, fire, or other threat is imminent, move into the stairwell:

  • After the stairwell crowd has passed below your floor level, enter the stairwell with assistant(s) and wait on the stair landing. Make sure that the door is securely closed.
  • Update University Police at 617.627.6911 (x66911 from a campus phone) to notify dispatchers that you have relocated INTO the stairwell.
  • Wait for assistance. First responders will be assigned to assist you if evacuation is necessary.

When should you use a fire extinguisher?

  • Only if you are trained and confident in fire extinguisher use.
  • Only if the fire is small in size (no larger than a small trash can).
  • If you do fight the fire, use only ONE (1) extinguisher, then evacuate the building.
  • As a reminder: you are NOT obligated to fight fires of any size. If you have any doubt, do not attempt to fight the fire.


If caught in smoke:

  • Stay low; smoke will rise to ceiling level first.
  • Drop to hands and knees and crawl toward the nearest exit.
  • Hold your breath as much as possible; breathe through your nose and use a filter such as a shirt, towel, or handkerchief.
  • Be aware of your surroundings; take note of and follow EXIT signs.

If trapped in a room due to fire or smoke:

  • Call University Police: 617.627.6911 to report your location and conditions.
  • Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
  • Wet and place cloth material around or under the door to help prevent smoke from entering the room.
  • If the room has an outside window, be prepared to signal to someone outside.

Clothing on fire (Stop, Drop and Roll):

  • Direct or assist a person to roll around on the floor to smother the flames.
  • Drench with water if a laboratory safety shower is immediately available.
  • Obtain medical attention. Call 617.627.6911 (x66911 from a campus phone)
  • Report incident to supervisor.

Report ALL fires, no matter how small, to the University Police at 617.627.6911 (x66911 from a campus phone). On the Boston health sciences and SMFA campuses call 911 first to report a fire.