General Emergency Evacuation Procedures
It is essential that the campus community be prepared to respond appropriately in the face of emergencies such as fires, explosions, and chemical releases. The key to a successful evacuation is planning. All employees and students must know their responsibilities and cooperate fully in practice drills conducted to maintain preparedness.
The following procedures have been written to assist employees and students in thoroughly understanding the methods of an emergency evacuation:
Pre-Emergency Responsiblities Each employee and student must familiarize themselves with the building(s) in which they work or attend class, including the location of exits, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers. Individual Pre-Emergency Responsiblities
- Know the location of at least two exits (ELEVATORS ARE NOT CONSIDERED EXITS DURING A FIRE)
- Know the location and operation of the fire alarm system. There are pull stations normally located by exits, and in some buildings, by the stairwells.
- Keep the OU HSC Police Department telephone number conspicuously posted, (EMERGENCY 271-4911). The department provides self adhesive labels that can be placed on each telephone.
- Participate in all fire drills and take them seriously, following area-specific evacuation procedures, if applicable. Most fires produce an immense amount of smoke that is highly toxic. In fact, smoke is responsible for more fire fatalities than flames. A smoky fire can have the following effect on humans: Within 30-seconds - disorientation; within 2-minutes - unconsciousness; within 3-minutes - death. Timing is critical during a fire. To ensure your safety, you must know how to prevent and respond to any fire emergency.
- Become familiar with the locations and types of fire extinguishers, and know how to use them.
- Know the designated assembly location where members of your department, or class, are to assemble once they have exited the building.
- Advise personnel,who may be in the immediate area, that they are to begin evacuating at the first sign of smoke or fire.
- Assign one person, and a backup person, to assist with evacuating any physically impaired individual(s).
Duties During an Emergency
- Unless you are certain that someone has already done so, activate the fire alarm and notify the OU HSC Police Department (EMERGENCY 271-4911). It is always a good idea to make another call if there is any doubt as to whether or not a call has been made.
- Confine the fire, if possible, by closing all doors and windows.
- Alert people on your immediate floor, so they can begin evacuation.
- Take small personal belongings, and exit the building. USE STAIRWELLS - DO NOT USE AN ELEVATOR.
- DO NOT RE-ENTER the building until advised to do so by the OU HSC Police.
- Congregate at a pre-designated location, outside the building to account for all members of your department, or class.
A fire door serves as a barrier to limit the spread of fire and restrict the movement of smoke. Unless they are held open by the automatic system, fire doors should remain closed at all times. Do not tamper with the fire doors or block them with equipment, potted plants, furniture, small blocks of wood, etc.
- Fire doors are normally located in stairwells, corridors, and other areas required by Fire Codes. The door, door frame, locking mechanism, and closure are rated between 20-minutes and three hours. A fire door rating indicates how long the door assembly can withstand heat and water hose stream.
- Always keep fire doors closed. If it is necessary to keep a fire door open, have a special closure installed by Site Support. This closure will connect the fire door to the building's fire alarm system, and will automatically close the door if the alarm system is activated.
- Know which doors are fire doors, and keep them closed to protect building occupants, and exit paths from fire and smoke. Never block a fire door with a non-approved closure device such as a door stop, block of wood, furniture, etc. For fire doors with approved closure devices, make sure that nothing around the door can impede the closure.
- Never alter a fire door or assembly in any way. Simple alterations such as changing a lock or installing a window can lessen the fire rating of the door.
- Doors to offices, laboratories, and classrooms help act as smoke barriers, regardless of their fire rating. Keep these doors closed whenever possible. REMEMBER - A CLOSED DOOR IS THE BEST WAY TO PROTECT YOUR PATH TO SAFETY FROM THE SPREAD OF SMOKE AND FIRE.