Fire Safety: Prevention and Response

Prevention and Response

If there is a fire
  • Sound the alarm, if available, as soon as you find or suspect a fire. Warn other occupants - knock on doors and shout as you leave.
  • Leave the building. Don't attempt a rescue unless you can do so safely. Stay out of the building until given the OK to return by fire officials.
  • Check the hallway. If it is relatively clear of smoke, close your door behind you and go to the nearest stairway or exit. If nearest exit is blocked by heat, fire, or smoke, stay low and go to another exit. Use exit stairs, not elevators. Elevator shaft's may fill with smoke or the power may fail, leaving you trapped. Stairway fire doors will keep out fire and smoke -if they are closed- and will protect you until you are outside.
  • Close as many doors as possible as you leave. This will help to confine the fire.
  • Call the Campus Police from a safe location. Provide the dispatcher with as much information as possible.
Office Location: 37 Lee Street - 105B
To Survive a Fire
  • Crawl low under smoke. If you get caught in smoke, get down and crawl. Cleaner, cooler air will be near the floor.
  • Feel any door before opening it. If it is cool, brace yourself against the door, open it slightly, and if trapped by heat or heavy smoke, close the door and stay in the room. Do not jump! Stay next to windows so that fire fighters can get to you quickly. Help is on the way.
If You Get Trapped
  • Keep the doors closed. A closed door can protect you from fire, heat and smoke elsewhere in the building. If you are trapped, seal cracks and vents from incoming smoke. Open windows: down at the top to allow heat and smoke to escape; up from the bottom to allow fresh air in.
  • Signal for help. Stay where you are, and hang something like a sheet or shirt from the window to attract the fire department's attention. If there is a phone in the room, call Campus Police and give them your building name and room number.
    • If You Are On Fire: Stop, Drop & Roll!
    • If your clothes catch on fire, stop, and drop and roll wherever you are. Rolling smothers the flames.
    • Cool burns. Use cool tap water immediately for burns. Don't use ointments. If skin is blistered, dead white, brown or charred, call for an ambulance.
    • If you smoke, smoke carefully, don't smoke in bed or near flammable materials. Use large ashtrays and be sure ashes, matches and cigarette ends are cold before you dump them. Don't smoke while intoxicated.
    • Cook in approved areas or kitchens and use listed appliances as soon as possible. Unattended cooking is a major cause of fires in residence halls.
Fire Extinguisher Use
  • Only use a fire extinguisher if the fire is very small and you know how to do it safely. If the extinguisher does not put out the fire, leave immediately. Make sure the fire department is called - even if you think the fire is out!
Help Eliminate Campus Fire Hazards
  • Electrical Abuse. Use of electrical "octopuses" to obtain more outlets can result in overloaded circuits and fire - replace damaged wires-match your appliance power requirements to the circuit power.
  • Most electrical circuits only supply 15 or 20 amps per room for all of the outlets. Also, extension cords should be limited to temporary use.
  • Hotplates, coffee pots, irons, space heaters, etc., should never be left unattended. They should be unplugged after use and not stored until they are cool enough to touch. Keep heaters away from curtains and furniture since appliances can overload circuits and start a fire.
Open Flames
  • Be very careful with open flames. Candles, Bunsen burners, should never be left unattended. If you leave, for even only a moment, put out all flames. Candles are very dangerous to use in bedrooms. They are illegal in residence halls.
Hazardous Storage
  • Recycle or dispose of all waste as soon as possible. Waste material should be stored in a safe place, not in corridors or stairways.
Improper Storage and Deadly Obstacles
  • Storing bikes, chairs, desks and other items is prohibited in all exit ways. Blocked exists have caused pile-ups of fallen people during emergencies.
Protect Yourself
  • Participate in fire drills. Drills are used to familiarize yourself with the building's alarm, emergency exits you may not normally use, and the procedure for calling the fire department.
  • Physical Disabilities. Even if the disability is temporary, learn about fire safety, plan ahead for fire emergencies, and know your own capabilities and/or limitations. Check on evacuation policies to see if you are sufficiently covered in an emergency. Look for potential "areas of refuge", like stair enclosures or the other side of corridor fire doors. Most elevators are designed to stop operating when the alarm is sounding and they are very dangerous in a fire.
  • Alcohol and Drugs. If you use either of these, you are especially vulnerable to being killed from smoke inhalation. You cannot smell smoke when you are asleep. Even healthy young people may not be able to escape a fire if they are intoxicated. You may not be able to hear the alarm or find the exit. Let the fire department know if you think someone has not been able to evacuate the building.
Extinguish Vandalism and Arson
  • Report Damaged Fire Equipment:
    Should close automatically and completely.
    Two exit signs should be visible from all public areas.
    Keep them working so they can detect smoke when you are asleep and wake you in time to get out.
    Horns, bells, and pull stations should be in working order and not vandalized.
    Report empty or vandalized extinguishers.
  • Report Fire-Related Crimes to Officials. Please assist with information leading to the arrest of an arsonist.
  • Vandalism of fire extinguishers, exit signs, and fire alarms robs you of your fire protection. Any student found responsible for these crimes could be expelled from the institution, in addition to facing criminal prosecution. A conviction could prevent your acceptance to a graduate or professional school.