Building Evacuation and Fire Emergencies
Fire Emergency Response
If you discover a fire:
- Alert people in the area of the need to
- Activate the nearest fire alarm
- Call Public Safety at 911
If a building fire alarm is sounding or you receive notification
of a fire emergency:
- Feel the door or doorknob to the hallway
with the back of your hand. If it feels hot, do not open it –
the fire may be on the other side of the door. If you are trapped, put
a cloth or towel under the door to help prevent the entry of smoke.
Dial 911 and tell the Public Safety dispatcher your location and telephone
extension and that you are trapped in the room and need rescue. Stay
on the phone until instructed otherwise.
- If the door is not hot, open it slowly.
If the hallway is clear of smoke, walk to the nearest fire exit and
evacuate via the nearest stairwell to the street/grade level exit.
- Close doors behind you.
- Do not attempt to use elevators. Elevators
are tied to the fire detection system and are not available to occupants
once the alarm sounds.
- Assemble at the area
designated in your departmental Emergency Action
Plan and remain there until instructed by Public Safety or the fire
department that it is safe to re-enter the building.
If you have been trained to use a fire extinguisher
Only trained personnel may use fire extinguishers. Small fires can
be extinguished without evacuation, but you much constantly evaluate
and be ready to evacuate if the fire cannot be controlled. NEVER
ENTER A SMOKE-FILLED ROOM.
- Alert people in the area.
- Activate the fire alarm.
- Smother the fire or use the correct fire extinguisher.
Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Maintain an accessible exit.
- Avoid smoke and fumes.
- Remain available to answer questions from Public
Safety, EHS or the fire department.
- Contact Building Services at 258-3490 to replace
the fire extinguisher.
- Report all fires to your supervisor and Public
Fire Emergencies and Emergency
Action Planning (top)
Potential emergencies in University buildings may require the occupants
to evacuate the building. The following information and procedures have
been designed to help ensure your personal safety, should an evacuation
University Fire Emergency Policy and Procedure
In case of a fire emergency (defined as (1) an uncontrolled fire or
imminent fire hazard, (2) the presence of smoke or the odor of burning,
(3) the uncontrolled release of a flammable or combustible substance,
or (4) a fire alarm sounding), Public Safety must be notified immediately
at 911. Public Safety has primary responsibility for managing fire emergencies
and summoning outside assistance when necessary. Unauthorized re-entry
into a building during a fire emergency is not permitted. Violators
of this policy are subject to University and state fire code sanctions.
Each University Department must designate an Emergency Coordinator
responsible for developing and maintaining a departmental Emergency
Action Plan (EAP) and training employees on all elements of the plan
as well as any special duties assigned specific individuals. During
a fire emergency, only individuals designated in the EAP may remain
in the building to fulfill their responsibilities. All other occupants
must immediately evacuate the building in accordance with the departmental
emergency action plan.
Building occupants are not required to fight fires. Individuals who
have been trained in the proper use of a fire extinguisher and are confident
in their ability to cope with the hazards of a fire may use a portable
fire extinguisher to fight small, incipient stage fires (no larger than
a waste paper basket). Fire fighting efforts must be terminated when
it becomes obvious that there is risk of harm from smoke, heat or flames.
Emergency Action Plan
Each building on campus has an Emergency Action Plan. Information specific
to each plan includes:
Emergency Coordinator: Each University building
has an appointed emergency coordinator. The Emergency
Coordinator is the first point of contact for questions about the
emergency procedures and the emergency action plan. A list of department
emergency coordinators is available.
Fire Protection Systems: Each plan has a
description of the fire alarm, if equipped, and any fire suppression
Evacuation Procedures: After occupants have
left the building via the nearest stairwell or street grade exit, they
should go to the designated assembly point
established in their building's plan. At the assembly point, supervisors
will account for personnel and notify the Emergency Coordinator or Public
Safety if any personnel are missing.
During an emergency, students and visitors who may not be familiar
with this plan must be informed of the requirement to evacuate. Special
attention should also be given to any persons with disabilities, especially
those who are visitors or unfamiliar with the building.
Additional Duties: Additional duties may
be required for assistance during an evacuation or the shut-down of
special processes or equipment.
Training: Each department is responsible
for training its employees on all elements of its emergency action plan.
New employees must receive training when first
assigned to the department. Additional training is necessary when an
employee's required actions under the plan change, or when there are
changes to the plan.
Additional training assistance is available from Environmental Health
and Safety (EHS).
Additional Information: Additional information
on emergency action planning can be found in the Princeton University
Health & Safety Guide , on the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)
web page , or by contacting Kelly
States, Health & Safety Specialist (8-2648) or the University
Fire Marshall (extension 8-6805).
Fire Extinguishers (top)
The use of fire extinguishers must conform to the following guidelines
which are specified by the
OSHA standard (29 CFR 1910.157);
- Portable fire extinguishers suitable to the conditions and hazards
involved shall be provided and maintained in an effective operating
- Portable fire extinguishers shall be conspicuously located and mounted
where they will be readily accessible. Extinguishers shall not be
obstructed or obscured from view.
- Portable fire extinguishers shall be given maintenance service at
least once a year and a written record shall be maintained. Building
Services is responsible for obtaining annual maintenance for the extinguishers.
- Monthly inspections which entail visually inspecting for broken
seals, damage, and low gauge pressure, depending on type of extinguisher,
are performed by Building Services personnel. A tag affixed to the
extinguisher is initialed by the inspector after each inspection.
- Employees designated to fight fires must receive training in the
general principles of fire extinguisher use and the hazards involved
with initial stage fire fighting.
Fire Prevention (top)
- Proper housekeeping including the prompt removal of wastes and keeping
the work space free of unnecessary combustible materials will help
to prevent or
reduce the severity of fires.
- Limited quantities of flammable liquids may be stored in laboratories
and shops. Flammable liquid storage cabinets are required where large
- Storage of combustible materials such as cardboard boxes, etc. should
be kept to a minimum.
- Electrical wiring should be maintained in good condition. Extension
cords should be used only for temporary use.
- The emergency number for
Public Safety (911) should be posted on every phone.
For a safety survey of your area, contact Greg
Cantrell at 258-5849.