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Prepare Before a Fire

  • ALWAYS familiarize yourself to “where you are” and be sure to know how to reach the TWO nearest EXITS.
  • Remember that in a fire situation, smoke is blinding and will bank down in the rooms and hallways. This condition may force you to crouch or crawl to escape to safety. By ALWAYS being aware of your surroundings, your knowledge of the nearest EXITS and having a PLAN will greatly increase your ability to deal with sudden emergencies.

If You Discover a Fire or See Smoke

  • If building fire alarm is not sounding, manually activate the alarm by pulling a fire alarm pull station located near an exit.
  • Immediately exit the building.
  • Call the University Police at x66911.

The first step after discovering a fire is to evacuate the area, closing all doors behind you. Locate the nearest manual fire alarm pull station and activate it, then contact the University Police. Whenever possible, and without putting yourself at risk, shut down laboratory or industrial equipment before leaving.

Steps to Safety in Fires:

  • Isolate the area by shutting doors when exiting.
  • Use stairs, never take the elevator during a fire.
  • Notify the University Police when you can do so safely. > Signs indicating the Area of Gathering are posted in the lobby of each building and residence hall. In the event of a building or area evacuation, go to the posted Area of Gathering or as directed by emergency response officials. Meet and account for other department members.
  • Never attempt to re-enter the building unless cleared to do so by the Fire Department.

(Unless the fire is very small and you have been trained to do so).

If Building Fire Alarm is Activated or Someone Informs You of a Fire

  • Walk to the nearest exit. Do not use the elevators.
  • If able, assist people with special needs.
  • Notify emergency personnel if you know or suspect someone is trapped or still inside the building.
  • Assemble outside at the Area of Gathering away from the building and do not attempt to re-enter the building until authorized to do so by the emergency responders.

If Caught in Smoke

  • Drop to hands and knees and crawl towards the nearest exit.
  • Stay low, smoke will rise to ceiling level first.
  • Hold your breath as much as possible; breathe through your nose and use a filter such as a shirt, towel or handkerchief.

If Trapped in a Room

  • 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.
  • Only drench with water if a laboratory safety shower is immediately available.
  • Obtain medical attention. Call x66911.
  • Report incident to supervisor.

Using a Fire Extinguisher

Only use a fire extinguisher if the fire is very small and you have been trained to do so safely. If you cannot put out the fire, leave immediately and make sure the building alarm is activated and emergency personnel are notified.


Report ALL fires, no matter how small, to the University Police at x66911, regardless of property damage.