Very small fires (like a trash can fire) can usually be extinguished easily with the proper use of an extinguisher (see below) or by "suffocating" the flames. However, in the event that you encounter a large or spreading fire, sound the alarm and exit the building! In most cases, when an alarm is activated campus police dispatch receives an automatic signal (but not always!). It is important to report all fires. If you see a fire in a building and hear no alarm, pick up a campus phone (from a safe distance) and dial x2373 or using your cell phone dial 9-1-1. Even if you have contained a very small fire yourself, you must still notify dispatch.
Here are some very basic rules to keep in mind if the fire alarm sounds:
- Stay calm, but do not ignore the alert.
- Inform those around you that might be hearing impaired, or otherwise unable to hear the alarm.
- Gather your immediate belongings and exit the building calmly.
- Close doors behind you as you leave (this helps contain the spread of fire and smoke).
- Shut off any major equipment/electronics.
- Never use the elevator. Always use the stairs.
- Do not open doors that feel warm to the touch.
- If the area you are in fills with heavy smoke, exit on your hands and knees to avoid inhaling debilitating fumes and smoke.
- After safely exiting the building, let emergency personnel on the scene know of any occupants that may have remained in the building and their general location. This is especially important if those individuals were unable to escape (e.g., people trapped, injured, or confined to a wheelchair on an upper level).
- Stay clear of emergency vehicles. You should exit to an area about 100 feet from the building and stay with your classroom or the group from your particular work area. Do not re-enter the building until the all clear signal has been given by emergency personnel on scene.
Fire extinguisher training now available!