Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness


If you smell smoke, see fire, or the fire alarm sounds, it is best to evacuate the building in a calm and orderly fashion. Here are some things to remember in a fire emergency:

  • If you suspect there's a fire, touch the door with the back of your hand. If the door is hot, don't open it.
  • If it is cool, open it slowly. If you smell smoke or see fire, stay calm and activate the nearest fire alarm if it is not already activated.
  • Contact Public Safety immediately. Tell them the location, size, and cause of the fire.
  • Report any injuries.
Video about Fire prevention


Emergency evacuation routes are posted at the exit of every classroom and in other general assembly areas and exits throughout campus buildings. Find the nearest stairwell and the safest route to evacuate quickly. Do not use the elevators. People with disabilities who are should remain by designated areas of refuge by the nearest stairwell and await further instructions from Public Safety or Fire Rescue.

Smoke and heat rise. If the smoke is heavy, be prepared to crawl on the ground. The air is clearer and cooler near the floor. Move as quickly as possible because most deaths from fire are not caused by burning, but by smoke inhalation. If you have access to a wet cloth, put it over your nose and mouth. If not, use a shirt or scarf.

If trapped in a room, close as many doors as possible between yourself and the fire. Place any available material around and under the door to prevent smoke from coming in.

Signal for help from the windows using a white cloth, but DO NOT BREAK THE GLASS unless absolutely necessary. If you don't have a cloth, paper will do. If possible, call 9-1-1 and the Campus Public Safety Department to give your location.

Once outside, move a safe distance away from the building as directed by Public Safety, and await further instructions.

Do not attempt to re-enter the building or leave campus until you are instructed to do so.

Faculty and staff are responsible for evacuating their areas and accounting for all occupants of the room, so stay with your group.

Always obey the fire alarm system. All alarms should be treated as a real emergency, even if they are designated a drill. Drills are good practice so if there is ever an actual fire, you'll be prepared.

Remember to check the door first for heat to see if it's safe to exit, if there's smoke, stay close to the ground, and cover your mouth if you can. Remain calm and evacuate safely.