Health Sciences Fire Alarm Response

What are the expectations of faculty or staff when a classroom must be evacuated?

Ideally, the faculty member should appoint someone (a student or staff member who is familiar with the location of the assembly area) to lead the way out of the building so that they can be the last one to leave the classroom. That way, faculty can assure everyone has left the room before turning off the lights and shutting the door.


Why do we need to close the doors? Should the doors be locked?

We need to close the doors to reduce the spread of fire. Classroom doors will provide a certain level of fire hour protection. You do not need to lock the doors. This will provide easy access to the room by fire fighters. If the door is locked and first responders need to go into a room, they can always go to the lock box located in the building and get a master key. They are familiar with the lock box locations on campus. This brings up another issue about propping fire doors open. Fire rated doors (look for the plate on the hinged edge of the door to find the fire rating) should never be propped open.


Why do we have to evacuate to the Evacuation Assembly Area? Why can't we just leave or go to a location where we choose to go?

Evacuating to a designated Assembly Area is important to assure everyone is accounted for. Designating these areas is important for two reasons:

  1. It is very helpful in establishing if everyone was able to evacuate the building. In a real event, first responders will want to know if they are in a situation where rescue is needed. If everyone is accounted for, they will know that they can begin to mitigate the incident instead of sweeping the building looking for potential victims.
  2. The assembly areas are located away from the building. This is important so first responders (such as firefighters) have clear access to the building for their trucks and equipment. They can begin to start responding to the situation immediately and don't have to worry about clearing the crowd around entrances before they begin.

How will I know when it is safe to come back into the building?

Don't go back into the building just because you no longer hear the alarm. In a drill, someone will motion to you when it’s safe to come back into the building. In a real event, only the first responders on-scene can give an "all-clear" to authorize re-entry.

How will Building Occupants Requiring Assistance during Evacuations know to request assistance in advance so that arrangements can be made to meet their needs?

Several ways:

  1. They can get this information by reviewing the employee Emergency Action Plan once completed for a building/department.
  2. They can access this webpage and request support on our website: Access & Functional Needs Program