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Emergency Guide

[ Fire Emergency ] / [ First Aid ] / [ Chemical Spill ] / [ Storage]

Fire Emergency and Response

According to the University Policy on Fire Emergencies, employees are not required to fight fires and should evacuate the building immediately in the event of a fire.  Public Safety has primary responsibility for managing fire emergencies and must be notified immediately of such situations at their emergency number, 911.  Employees may use fire extinguishers to fight small, incipient stage fires (no larger than a waste paper basket) only if they 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.  In such cases, fire fighting efforts must be terminated when it becomes obvious that there is danger of harm from smoke, heat, or flames. 

Each University department has written an individual emergency action plan and appointed an emergency coordinator.  The Emergency Coordinator is the first point of contact for questions about the emergency procedures and the mergency action plan. 

If a fire is discovered, activate the nearest fire alarm and call 911.  If the fire alarm does not work, or the building is not equipped with one, dial 911 and notify occupants verbally of the emergency and the need to evacuate. 

You may attempt to put out the fire if you have been trained in and are comfortable with using a fire extinguisher.  Otherwise, immediately evacuate. 

Hazardous equipment or processes should be shut down before leaving unless doing so presents a greater hazard.  Remember to close all doors as leaving, if conditions permit. 

Evacuation Procedures

Evacuate via the nearest stairwell or street/grade level exit.  Each University building has established a pre-designated assembly point in the departmental emergency action plan.  After you have left the building, go to the pre-designated assembly point and remain there.  At the assembly point, supervisors account for personnel and report any that are unaccounted for to the Emergency Coordinator or Public Safety. 

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. 

Fire Extinguishers

The use of fire extinguishers must follow 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 condition. 
-  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

-  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 storage cabinets are required where large amounts are present. 
-  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.