Fires: Buildings


Upon discovering a fire, close the door to the room where the fire is located and immediately sound the building alarm.

  • From a safe location dial 911 and an ERT member.
  • Give your name and the location of the fire.  Do not hang up until the dispatcher tells you to do so.
  • If the fire is small (no larger than a wastebasket) you may wish to fight it with a fire extinguisher.  Be sure you are using the proper extinguisher for the type of fire you are fighting.  If you are not sure, read the instructions on the extinguisher.
  • To use the extinguisher:

Pull the safety pin from the handle;

Aim at the base of the fire;

Squeeze the trigger handle; and

Sweep from side to side.

  • If the fire is large, smoky, or spreading quickly, leave the building immediately.  Inform others in the building who may not have responded to the alarm to leave immediately.  The alarm may not sound continuously.  Even if the alarm stops, continue to evacuate the building and warn others who may attempt to enter the building.  Always evacuate a building if the alarm is sounding.
  • If time permits, turn off computers, unplug electrical equipment, take your purse or wallet, and close windows and doors before leaving.
  • Walk; do not run, to the nearest exit.
  • If you have a mobility impairment, request assistance from those nearest you.  If no one is there to render assistance, proceed to the nearest stairway landing, shout for help, and wait there until help arrives.
  • When a fire alarm sounds, do not use an elevator.  Assist, or carry, all disabled persons using the stairs.
  •  If there is a closed door in your exit path, touch the door lightly with the back of your hand to ensure it is not warm.  If it is not warm, open slowly.  Be prepared to close the door quickly if smoke or flames are present.
  • If there is smoke in your exit path, crawl on hands and knees, keeping your head as close to the ground as possible to avoid inhaling toxic fumes.  Use wet paper towels or wet clothing to protect yourself from flames and smoke.
  • If your clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP, AND ROLL.
  • Relocate to your designated staging area and stay out of the way of emergency personnel.  (See maps at the back of the manual to locate staging areas for each campus.)
  • Report to an ERT member and do not return to the building until instructed to do so by emergency personnel.