What To Do in an Emergency

Fire or Hazardous Material

In the event of a fire or hazardous materials emergency within a campus building, it is necessary and safest for occupants to evacuate. Without exception, everyone must evacuate.

A fire or hazardous materials emergency exists whenever the following occurs:

  • A building fire evacuation alarm is sounding.
  • An uncontrolled fire or imminent fire hazard occurs in any building or area of campus.
  • There is the presence of smoke or the odor of burning.
  • There is an uncontrolled release of combustible or toxic gas or other hazardous material, or a flammable liquid spill.

Surviving a Building Fire

1.  Activate the building fire alarm.

  • Pull a fire alarm station on the way out.
  • If the building is not equipped with a fire alarm, knock on doors and shout on your way out.

2.  Leave the building by the nearest exit.

  • Crawl if there is smoke: If you get caught in smoke, get down and crawl. Cleaner, cooler air will be near the floor.
  • Feel doors before opening: Feel the metal handle before opening any doors. If the handle is hot, do not open the door. If it is cool, brace yourself against the door, open it slightly, and if heat or heavy smoke are present, close the door and stay in the room.
  • If the nearest exit is blocked by fire, heat, or smoke, go to another exit or stairway.
  • Always use an exit stair not an elevator.
  • Elevator shafts may fill with smoke or the power may fail, leaving you trapped.
  • Close as many doors as possible as you leave. This helps to confine the fire. Stairway fire doors will keep out fire and smoke if they are closed and will protect you until you get outside.
  • Total and immediate evacuation is safest. Only use a fire extinguisher if the fire is very small and you have received training. Do not delay calling emergency responders or activating the building fire alarm. If you cannot put out the fire, leave immediately. Make sure the Office of Public Safety and the fire department are called, even if you think the fire is out.

3.  If you get trapped, keep the doors closed.

  • Place cloth material (wet if possible) around and under door to prevent smoke from entering.
  • Be prepared to signal your presence from a window. Do not break glass unless absolutely necessary, as outside smoke may be drawn inside.

4.  Notify emergency responders from a safe distance away from the building using one of the following methods:

  • Call 911 from a campus phone.
  • Call 607-274-3333 from a cell phone.
  • Locate an emergency call box (blue-light phone) to contact the Office of Public Safety dispatcher.

Signal for Help
Hang an object at the window (jacket, shirt) to attract the fire department’s attention. If there is a phone in the room, call 911 or 607-274-3333 from a cell phone and report that you are trapped. Be sure to give your room number and location. If all exits from a floor are blocked, go back to your room, close the door and seal cracks, open the windows if it is safe, wave something out the window, and shout or phone for help.

If You Are on Fire
Stop, drop, and roll: If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop, and roll wherever you are. Rolling smothers the fire.

Obstacles
Storage of any items in the corridors to include bicycles, chairs, desks, and other items is prohibited in all exit ways, including stairwells. Blocked exits and obstacles impede evacuation, especially during dark and smoke conditions.